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This poem is a sequel to an earlier poem, The Novel.  ~


By Linda Eve Diamond 

The coroner and bestselling author has agreed
to his first formal interview on TV...

Your novels are each so unique!
The coroner nods.

Where do you find the stories?
I don’t, he says softly. They come to me.

You say your work inspires you.
Yes. That’s true.

But you write more about life than death.
The coroner says, simply, Yes.

Yes. This much is clear...
This interview was a bad idea.

Well, so many novel ideas! So many points of view!
The author smiles, shifts and scratches an itch.

Could the coroner ever tell the truth about his fiction,
the stories buried deep, so discreetly they nearly die unseen?

How is it he hears these ethereal strands of story...
and how does he know how to weave them?

Why does he feel compelled to give birth
to words that would have been buried unheard?

How can he discuss, he wonders, the ineffable nature
of his inspiration? He wonders how anyone can.

I can’t take credit for the stories, says the coroner.
They come to me, and I write them down.

Ah, yes. Divine inspiration? The guiding hand of a muse?
He wants to tell his story, credit his muses, muse about the process...

No. Too confusing, even for him. He imagines the responses:
Fraud, kook, liar, thief, intuitive, idiot, genius... (He’d agree with fraud.)

Maybe his story is best saved for a novel... and for another day.
This is no place for something too real or sacred, anyway.

If the thought of a muse amuses you, he answers, that’s fine.
And I don’t know, but maybe the guiding force is divine.

Ah, says the interviewer. That’s what many writers say.
And, folks, he’s still a coroner! How ‘bout that?

With that, the interviewer slaps his knee and laughs
and the coroner quietly decides this interview will be his last.

©2013 Linda Eve Diamond, The Beauty of Listening

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