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.