As in:

“Of course you’re my muse,” Terry shouted back to Melinda, after she asked, aloud, whether she still inspired him.

“You better mean that,” she replied, her voice cutting through the soft din of the Mumbo Jumbo Muffin Shoppe. “I have a short fuse for false sincerity.”

This was day 168, without a break, except for weekends. The idea to be a daily deadline poet had come from one of his heroes, the whimsical Calvin Trillin. And to perform this art at Mumbo Jumbo during the mid-morning rush involved just the right mix of panache and difficulty, like riding a unicycle, and spinning plates, and crossing a busy street.

“I need words with spice, Mel,” he called out.

“Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,” she called back as she turned to make a cappuccino.

Terry stared at his laptop.

“That’s good,” he exclaimed. “I can work with that.”

“Damn right,” she then said to the next fellow in line. “Down at the market they’ll just throw you a fish.”

“Of course,” the next fellow replied, as if this all made sense to him.

“Algorithm, logarithm, Marxism, catechism!” Terry now chanted with delight. “Parsley goes well with asiago cheese, but it won’t change your life!”

“Sounds good to me,” Melinda replied.

“You’re the best Mel,” Terry said, snapping shut the computer.

“Don’t be late tomorrow,” she replied. “And don’t forget my tip.”

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