Pinsky

By Robbie Gamble

I was waiting for a train in Penn Station, maintaining my little island of space within the flow of humans on the move, and I looked up from my book to see, right in front of me, the unmistakable profile of Robert Pinsky, staring up at the trackboard, trying to locate his train, and for a brief moment I had this urge to introduce myself, which flared and snapped shut like a Zippo lighter; I mean, what was I going to say?— “Gee, Mr. Pinsky, I’m not just a fellow traveler, I’m actually an emerging poet, and I love your work; in fact, I was thinking about the strings of inventory in “Shirt” just the other night, such an awesome poem!” – and he would have to shake himself free from the anxiety of missing his connection, tuck away his formidable mental to-do list, mumble some gracious pleasantries, maybe ask a question or two about my own influences and trajectory, all while keeping an ear out for the overhead PA track announcement, as commuters shouldered by us all around; all that work I did for him in my head before returning to my book, staring down at some random phrase until I sensed he had moved on into the cavernous bustling, just another guy trying to get to somewhere else.

Robbie Gamble writes poems and essays, bakes bread, and tries to be kind.


Art by Nick Botka.

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