in pencil on blank paper

Perhaps it was the years. But I know I
thought often of Hemingway, his belief
in luck or none. Such simple words. So I
thought my wise nineteen years were as complete
as his were—with grace enough and pressure
to buy a typewriter, only to write
in pencil on blank paper and ensure
the dialogue was typed, flowing and right
and overheard by that bearded, hurt man
whose early books were wounds he knew about.
Forgive him for the bullfights? As blood ran
with matadors and soldiering? And how
so much was blown apart with a shotgun?
Luck could begin when poetry begins.

Ray Carmichael

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