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,


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  


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


writing to people who could answer still. Writing to


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