What if you could have dinner with any writer in history – how cool would that be? Who would you select? I can’t decide. 

Whitman’s probably too gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – I just mean that he’s almost *too* connected to things around him. He’d observe a hawk and drone on about its connectedness to his loins. I’d feel like I was in a trance. 

Dickinson would be fascinating, but of course she’d become fatally distracted by a robin hunting dinner out the window and then stare at me with dead, doll eyes for an hour before excusing herself without returning. 

Hemingway would be great – if I drank. I mean, I love his lean style, but don’t know how much arm wrestling and nicotine I can handle in one night. It’d be like having dinner with the most interesting man in the world. Besides, I’m just not down with sleeping on tables in public.

Poe would try to get me to go down into the wine (absinth) cellar for some killer dope. It would take him about 2,000 words to ask, but I don’t trust him because it looks like he has dried mortar under his fingernails. 

Salinger would insist on sitting in the darkest corner with the light just so – so that he was completely engulfed in the darkness. Plus, he wouldn’t talk. I’d talk, and occasionally he’d just snicker and say “Phony” as a puff of cigarette smoke appears. 

Harper Lee would insist on having Capote along. And I can’t handle that voice. 

Crane would be cool. He lived hard, died young and wrote ridiculously well. 

Bierce would be fun for a while, but then he’d start twisting things around until I hated everything. 

Mark Twain. Yes, I think that’s the writer for me. 




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Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.