by George Klawitter

about the author: George Klawitter is a frequent book reviewer for the Review and has had a few poems included as well. This was the first and it still makes me laugh. I met George a number of times and have to thank him for being one of the few people to appreciate my own poetry. He had been teaching in Wisconsin but I know he's moved south since then, Texas? -gcb


Scenes from a Movie Named Michael

Scene One: Michael Comes to Dinner

I open the door. It is Michael.
He comes in.
I say, "May I take your coat?"
He gives me his coat.
I say, "May I take your shirt?"
He gives me his shirt.
I say, "May I take your pants and shoes?"
He gives me his pants and shoes.
I say, "May I have your underwear?"
He gives me his underwear.
Michael says, "Where is dinner?"

Scene Two: Michael at the Restaurant

We are in a swanky place, the best in town.
I say to Michael, "I love you."
Michael says, "I think I'll have the Biftek St. Jacques."
I say, "I think you are the most beautiful person I have met."
Michael says, "And then I'll have the Epinards a la rousse."
I say, "I adore everything about you."
Michael says, "And for dessert the Cherries Jubilee."
The waitress comes and takes Michael's order.
She turns to me and sees me staring at Michael over my menu.
She hits me over the head because it is a busy night and walks away.

Scene Three: Michael Gets a Gift

I give Michael a saxophone that my cousin had in the garage because her son decided he was tired of lessons.
Michael practices every night for an hour and a half, mostly scales.
I try to write poetry.
It does not flow. Only the saxophone flows.

Scene Four: At the Bookstore

I go to the bookstore because Michael said that's where the action is.
Of all people, I see Michael! I motion to a booth.
Michael says, "Oh, I'm sorry. I thought this was Sears."
Michael walks out.

Scene Five: The Great Revelation

I tell Michael after supper that I have something sad to bring up.
Michael puts another forkful of escargots bretagne in his mouth and looks at me.
I say, "I'm dying of AIDS."
Michael says, "Does this mean I have to give up the saxophone?"

Scene Six: The Great Confrontation

I tell Michael I know why he cannot love me.
I say, "I am not perfect. I am old and balding."
Michael says, "Anything else?"
I say, "I also talk too much."
Michael says, "Are you finished?"
I say, "Yes."
Michael says, "You forgot something."
I say, "What's that?"
Michael says, "You have a big nose."
I am furious. I say, "Well, Michael, you are not so perfect either."
Michael says, "Oh?"
I grab his right arm. I say, "See here? All your dark hair goes north and south, but this one goes east and west."
I release his arm.
Michael says, "Pass the salad."

Scene Seven: The Great Depression

I have decided to spare the world my presence.
I say, "I am going to jump from the La Crescent Bridge into the river."
Michael says, "It's closed for repairs."
I say, "Then I will swim out until the river is deep enough to drown."
Michael says, "It hasn't rained in a month, and the river is three feet deep."
I say, "I think I'll stick my head in the oven."
Michael says, "While you're there, would you check on the apple turnovers?"

Scene Eight: Born Again Narrator

I tell Michael that the AIDS diagnosis was a mistake.
Michael says, "Never trust a doctor."