Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Autumn 2009, vol 7 no 3


for edgar bergen
ed markowski


i used to read poetry on a program called
"the wordsmith's shop" which aired
every thursday night on detroit public radio.

one night the host asked, "which writers have
had the greatest impact on your writing?"

"the guy who created paladin for have gun will travel," i said.

"paladin the gunslinger? paladin the richard boone character?"

"that's right. paladin the gunslinger & paladin the gentleman who resided
at the hotel carlton in san francisco where a great chinese bellhop
named kim chang was always at his service."

"who created paladin? do you know his name?"


"have you ever tried to find out?"


"then you don't really know who had the greatest
impact on your writing."

"i never looked at it that way. i guess i do & i don't."

"you've never tried to find this man's name?"


"why not?"

"i never thought that much about it."

"will you try to find his name."

"he could be a woman for all i know."

"you're not curious about this man's name
or career?"


"why not?'

"if i found out, i'd solve the mystery
you just uncovered."

"you'll never try to find the name of the person who's
had the greatest influence on your writing?"

"no, & i'll never ask a magician for a peek up his sleeve."

ventriloquist's funeral
      crows invade
a moment of silence


Ed Markowski Ed Markowski lives and writes in Auburn Hills, Michigan. His poetry was featured at Cornell University's Mann Library in March of 2005.