can poetry have dialogue?

i hope so.

everybody at the big cheese called him ironhead. but steve mead didn’t mind. just another crazy salmon fisherman reading a book at the end of the bar. ironhead waved sadly to willie when we dripped in smelling like cedar smoke from the trask. no fish at the stump hole and it looks like they’ll keg up until the water clears. arnie spoke first.

“heard the nestucca might clear by tuesday.” but nobody turned their head to listen. arnie was always too hopeful when the november rains started and he always thought wishing would work when floods were likelier.

“doubt it” ironhead answered. and went back to reading. the waitress brought willie his mexican omelette with jalapenos and we all grabbed another booth. somebody’s dog started howling in his box out in the parking lot and a surly ex-con named dink went out to his rusted ford pickup to shut his hound up. he pulled out an electric cattle prod and zapped it once. a sharp whine and then silence. dink drove off without paying again so the waitress wrote the ticket and tucked it into the iou box under the counter.

“don’t tell me i don’t take care of my kids.” a lady a booth over yelled into her cell phone.

arnie went back to his hopeful yammering and we all drank our beers and looked out the window at the clouds impenetrable and pregnant as lies. they squirmed between the peaks of the coast range and laid their endless skein of eggs while willie ran to the bathroom just in time.

(C)