A Night at Victor’s

It’s a scratched and dusty lacquer press,

And the name upon it, “Bastianini.”

The fat old woman in the printed dress

Asked to hear it after her linguini.

I almost didn’t hear her speak to me

At first; the crowd is very good tonight.

But she’d caught my sleeve to say that she

Would consider it to be a slight

If she didn’t get to hear a disc

From the cafe’s old and vast collection.

And so, I went up to the shelves to whisk

Out and play a record at her direction.

But when I gently placed the needle in,

It played…and no one heard above the din.


About Michael Butchin

I was born, according to the official records, in the Year of the Ram, under the Element of Fire, when Johnson ruled the land with a heavy heart; in the Cradle of Liberty, to a family of bohemians. I studied Chinese language and literature at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. I spent some years in Taiwan teaching kindergarten during the day, and ESOL during the evenings. I currently work as a high school ESOL teacher, and am an unlikely martial artist. I have spent much of my life amongst actors, singers, movie stars, beautiful cultists, Taoist immortals, renegade monks, and at least one martial arts tzaddik. I currently reside in Beijing's Dongcheng district
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