Pursuing Happiness in Providence

The history professor’s voice circled

round LockeFranklinJefferson-

MarxFreudandevenListeningtoProzac

at a free evening lecture off Benevolent.

Two hours later he finished rummaging

for meaning, lifted his empty hands:

“How can anyone pursue a wohd

that literally means luck or fohtune?”

Later, on Hope Street, a grizzled gnome

followed me: “This here notebook holds

fahhunerdunthirdyone of the bes’ goddamn

poems in the whole goddamn world.”

He chuckled, held his script like a shield.

“And I wrote ’em all.” He rattled some coins

in a rusted Chock Full O’Nuts can.

“Which one do ya wanner heah first?”

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