The great train goes by like a great but grainy owl,
like a black-and-white two-reeler that’s both
a movie and a mnemonic—oh yes!—
each view a polished memory, each stop,
each station, each picket fence, every tree
a hiding dryad! (Freddy’s read his Keats.)
He smiles. We’ll go easy on the dryads.
It seems there is a rumor on the train
that Greta Garbo is traveling incognito
under the name ‘Mrs. Wiggins’. It seems
that he, plain vanilla Freddy, has been
ID’d as Fatty Arbuckle en route
to Florida to star with Miss Garbo
in his first talkie. What an idea.
Mrs. Wiggins as Greta Garbo!
He is reading the book of poetry
he got from that rather heavyset man,
an insurance lawyer from Connecticut.
Rumor and amour, he thinks. Poems about
love. Freddy turns the page.
O Florida, he reads. Venereal Soil.
Hey, he says. Hey,
this is good.