Arthur C. Clarke sits at his desk in the Hotel Chelsea

he’s wearing a crimson paisley sarong and a pair of

beaten up thongs

his fingers jackhammer the keys of a portable typewriter

each thrust and parry of his and Stanley’s conversations are

focused into movement on paper.

The story is being written.

He can hear music coming from the room below him

something electronically amplified, played by wild boys

with long, unruly hair.

He momentarily starts typing to the rhythm

bass drum and hi-hat spacebar syncopations

he sees Dave Bowman looking out from his space pod window

watching these musicians sunbathe on a Sri Lankan beach

tanned bodies, long torsos, nude…

the song stops.

His fingers tremble, he leans over to turn on his shortwave radio

maybe to pick up some Soviet jazz,

when he hears fumblings from the room next door

Leonard Cohen’s getting head on his unmade bed.

Arthur starts to type again, the chapter must be ready

the book goes to the printer in April

and February’s cold won’t last for long.