Driving to Bristol for a poetry gig, I picked up a hitchhiker, an impossibly handsome young Italian fellow with a backpack that surely only had room for a sponge bag, socks, undies and a change of mood.

He told me where he was going, and why. Then he asked me where I was going, and why. So I told him. “I’m a poet,” I said. “I’m off to a poetry gig.” “Beautiful,” he said. He thought a little. “They pay you for this?” he asked. I assured him they did. I wasn’t offended. It’s a common question.

“I believe poetry is very beautiful,” he said. “I believe poetry is very important to the soul.” ...


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