May 22, 2005


The only thing better than going to a poetry reading is not going to a poetry reading. So, after meeting on the steps of The Newberry Library, the writer Kevin Grandfield and I decided to make an abrupt about-face, walk north a few blocks, and enjoy an early supper at Albert’s Café. Albert’s is in the old coach house behind the mansion that once housed Bigg’s; it’s the closest place we have to a European café in Chicago. After our meal, Kevin brandished a handful of Merwin poems and we read across the table to one another – “Every year without knowing it I have passed the day/When the last fires will wave to me …” Later, Kevin and I, shadowed by the echoes of Merwin’s good words, walked, talked and laughed our way toward home through the quiet of Lincoln Park and an ever-more darkening night.


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