Jeffrey Zable

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San Francisco Encounter

I was sitting alone in a café writing a poem when I looked up to see Richard Brautigan and Charles Baudelaire enter arm and arm.

They both seemed joyous, maybe drunk, obviously sharing great appreciation for one another.

As they walked past me, I said to Charles, “Didn’t you die a while back!”

Stopping in their tracks, it was obvious that I’d said the worst thing possible.

Taking off his floppy cowboy hat, Brautigan started hitting me with it, while yelling, “You son of bitch! Do you see what you’ve done to my only true friend!”

Looking down I saw to my amazement that Baudelaire had turned into a skeleton without a trace of meat on him.

I tried to apologize, but realizing it was too late, all I could think of doing was buying Brautigan a cup of tea and a piece of pie.

Sitting together I tried to make up for what I did with some lively conversation and flattery of his writing.

In the end, we walked out of the café arm and arm as if we’d been friends for a long, long time. . .

The Crossing

I was on a bridge, thinking there could be a world on the other side,
a world that I could live in.
I walked to the end, but all I found was the beginning of another.
Crossing over, was another, another, and another. . .
Finally, I stopped and peered over the edge thinking that maybe
there was another way to go.
On the water below, balancing on his fin, was a sad looking fish.
“Don’t even think of coming down here cause there’s crocodiles everywhere!”
“Thanks!“ I responded, “but what do you do so they don’t get you?”
“I always keep moving and checking behind me. It’s not much of a life,
but it’s better than the alternative!”
After he dove into the water, I considered heading back from where
I began, but then remembered that I no longer remembered.
I continued on my way, crossing from one bridge to another. . .



Jeffrey Zable is a teacher, conga drummer who plays Afro-Cuban folkloric music for dance classes and Rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area, and a writer of poetry, fables, short fiction and non-fiction. He’s been publishing his work in literary magazines and anthologies for many moons