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After a Few Rounds

In a small pub just outside,
let’s assume, heaven,
Charles Dickens & Lewis
Carroll were locked in a good-
natured argument
about whose books had the worst
film adaptations.

“You should feel delighted if
anyone remembers your
perverted stories,”
Dickens said, hoisting an ale.
“You’ve given people
a goofy fantasy world—
which they love you for. So what
if they miss your wit?
There’s little to make of that.”

“Sir,” Carrol sniffed, plum
brandy swirling in his glass,
“it’s a testament to what
some may call genius
that even the nethermost
sort of mawkish shlock
remains true to your vision.”

Back & forth the jabs & gibes
flew when who should stroll
over to their table but
Mark Twain, cutting quite
the figure in his linen
suit. “Afternoon, gentlemen,”
he drawled, pulling up
a chair. “The next round’s on me.”

Puffing a cigar,
he tossed his head back & laughed
as if the devil himself.


  Matt Morris