I know you remember the clack of the keys,

but can you still hear the bell that rang in the paper,

several seconds before flush-at-the-right-margin,

          reminding

you to return the carriage, much as Cinderella did

at midnight? I don’t want to make too much

of the bell. It took its place in the ambience of  

           writing;

it rang for the typing pool and novelist alike. Still,

in those early days, every line tolled its own

unmelodic music. For me, it was the Eden of the

           sentence:

writing to people who could answer still. Writing to

              places

like Belclaire East, in Texas. A few years later, I could

type a little faster, and the bells followed true

on one another—sounding more like the machine

the thing really was, and less like what inspiration

             takes.

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