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Double Indemnity

ISSUE:  Winter 2015

No, not insurance. What I
meant to say was “double identity,”

as in Boutros Boutros-Ghali,
William Carlos Williams, Sirhan Sirhan,

Lady Gaga. For these folks, surely,
The Postman Always Rings Twice.

But now I’ve Mildred Pierced myself
to the image of James M. Cain,

typing away in his little white house
in suburban Maryland. His typewriter

is preserved in a university library;
I’ve seen it. I’ve seen the change

from manual to electric to electronic
to what-the-hell-is-a-typewriter

and no one will be archiving
our battered beloved iPads,

even if they once belonged to Yo-Yo Ma,
Flavor Flav, or Marky Mark.

Now all our devices must do at least
two things: phone-cameras,

calculator-umbrellas. But in truth
all of us lead double lives, an outer

story plus a hidden story, separated by 
such a thin skin. Tell us that one again

Ford Madox Ford, Kris Kristofferson,
Humbert Humbert, Richie Rich.


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