She was fiddling with her notebook
and I, a big strong writer passing by,
offered all of my manly assistance.
She said she could figure it out on her own
but after I showed her some of my publications,
she let me take a seat
and approach the literary problem before her.
“Nothing good rhymes with cadenza,”
It was a problem indeed
but I didn’t know the meaning of the word defeat
or the word cadenza.
“It’s a solo in musical movement,” she explained,
“Of course,” I replied. “and you need it for -”
“My song needs a reference
to one of the traditional music terms
still rattling in my brain after too many years
of too much training.”
“Something you’re trying to get rid of…”
“Yeah,” she said, “like, maybe
‘Stick all those damned cadenzas
all up in your credenza’.”
She started writing
after licking the tip of her pen.
Who does that?
“I guess,” I said, “If you like that.
But is it really universal?”
She finished her thought on the page
and turned to me.
“I kind of like my my metaphors
to be selective.
I wouldn’t want my ideas to be too populist
then go viral, like influenza.
She sped back to her notebook.
“Yeah, good job,” said I,
“but if it doesn’t work out,
you could always try to sell the song
second hand to some Boston fencer.”
She looked at me quizzically.
“A fence? From Massachusetts?
With the accent? A Boston fencah?”
She turned back to her book.
I don’t know if she noticed
when I eventually left.