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Monday, October 24, 2016


by Joan Mazza

the Swedish Academy for the Nobel
says of Bob Dylan, who hasn’t acknowledged
his prize for literature or the invitation
to the event. He can be difficult, they say,

as if this is insightful news of his psychology,
as if he’d care what anyone thought about
his need to be alone, hide out. They say
his behavior is unprecedented, forgetting

Jean-Paul Sartre refused the prize, and that
Doris Lessing, returned from shopping
and approached by a reporter with the news,
responded, Oh, Christ! Not delight or prayer.

Were I indiscreet, I’d tell you where he’s
holed up. You sure wouldn’t believe that he’s
here, underground in my basement, playing
cassettes on the stereo so loud my floors

vibrate. He's smoking,  stinking up my entire
house. My cats like him, as does my old dog,
but he doesn’t always come upstairs for meals
I’ve fixed, only shrugs when I ask him

if he wants shrimp or crab. Don’t answer
the phone, he told me as soon as he arrived.
It hardly ever rings, I said, astonished
at his demand, when I recognized him

on my porch and let him in. He parked his
car out back, but there’s no one here to see.
I’m deep in the woods, far from the road.
Today I hear him singing, strumming

his guitar. He says prizes don’t mean a thing.
I ask if I can take a photo before he leaves.
(When is he leaving?) He sticks out
his pouty lip, says, It ain’t me, babe.

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. Author of six self-help psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Kestrel, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, Slipstream, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art.