Waiter in Chief — Joe Biden as restaurant server in ‘The New Yorker’



Bill Barol has written a wickedly funny piece called “My name is Joe Biden and I’ll be your server” in ‘The New Yorker.’ Here’s just a little bit.

Folks, when I was six years old my dad came to me one night. My dad was a car guy. Hard worker, decent guy. Hadn’t had an easy life. He climbed the stairs to my room one night and he sat on the edge of my bed and he said to me, he said, “Champ, your mom worked hard on that dinner tonight. She worked hard on it. She literally worked on it for hours. And when you and your brothers told her you didn’t like it, you know what, Joey? That hurt her. It hurt.” And I felt (lowers voice to a husky whisper) ashamed. Because lemme tell you something. He was right. My dad was right. My mom worked hard on that dinner, and it was delicious. Almost as delicious as our Chicken Fontina Quesadilla with Garlicky Guacamole. That’s our special appetizer tonight. It’s the special. It’s the special. (His voice rising) And the chef worked hard on it, just like my mom, God love her, and if you believe in the chef’s values of hard work and creative spicing you should order it, although if you don’t like chicken we can substitute shrimp for a small upcharge.

Read the rest here in The New Yorker. It’s perfect.

I Go Back to the House for a Book — a poem by Billy Collins



I Go Back to the House for a Book


I turn around on the gravel
and go back to the house for a book,
something to read at the doctor’s office,
and while I am inside, running the finger
of inquisition along a shelf,
another me that did not bother
to go back to the house for a book
heads out on his own,
rolls down the driveway,
and swings left toward town,
a ghost in his ghost car,
another knot in the string of time,
a good three minutes ahead of me —
a spacing that will now continue
for the rest of my life.

Sometimes I think I see him
a few people in front of me on a line
or getting up from a table
to leave the restaurant just before I do,
slipping into his coat on the way out the door.
But there is no catching him,
no way to slow him down
and put us back in synch,
unless one day he decides to go back
to the house for something,
but I cannot imagine
for the life of me what that might be.

He is out there always before me,
blazing my trail, invisible scout,
hound that pulls me along,
shade I am doomed to follow,
my perfect double,
only bumped an inch into the future,
and not nearly as well-versed as I
in the love poems of Ovid —
I who went back to the house
that fateful winter morning and got the book.

— Billy Collins




Kafka – aphorism



There are two main human sins from which all the others derive: impatience and indolence. It was because of impatience that they were expelled from Paradise; it is because of indolence that they do not return. Yet perhaps there is only one major sin: impatience. Because of impatience they were expelled, because of impatience they do not return.

— Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


September Day — a poem






September Day


Today I try to work,

but I’m pulled away again and again,

not by irritant or worry,

but by the sheer pleasure

of sun and breeze and the song of the flicker.

September, unmoored by Julius and Augustus,

is made dearer than April

by momento mori making their way lazily to the earth.

And this month, defamed by the small and the lost,

is made bittersweet

because it whispers just how much we will lose.

But today, even my thoughts of departing

and leaving this behind make me glad

because I know I got to be alive

and see this one, perfect September day.



WDS 9/9/2012