“I DON’T EVER WANT to read another novel about love!”
“Oh, Adeena, you’re always making extravagant pronouncements!”
“Sorry, Adele, it’s my nerves. I’m almost there. I’m a few blocks away and getting close to the Citicorp building right now. If Jeremy knew what I was doing, he’d have a shit fit. Maybe I should have another coffee in the lobby when I get to the Glass Palace. I’m a little apprehensive about this meeting. I hate going behind my brother’s back, but I have to do it, for his sake.”
“Adeena, listen to me—calm down. No more coffee—you’re already wired and a basket of nerves. Take a deep breath and remember everything will work out. How many times have I tried to tell you Rory Trister is the best patent lawyer in New York City? Now that you finally have an appointment with him, everything will go fine.”
“Adele, I can’t thank you again for connecting me, setting up the appointment, and getting me that cover promo on Cosmopolitan. I still can’t believe it! It’s not often a woman’s glossy does a feature about a poet. I just hope it helps.”
“Of course it will help. And soon your new poem will be in The New Yorker. I told you I have an iron in the fire at Random House, too, and another at Norton for your new book of poems. Being the youngest woman ever elected to both The American Academy of Poets and The Academy of Arts and Letters is a nest of feathers in your cap.
“It’s why Tom Roth at Norton is listening. He wants to see a poet get a big break, because he knows it will open the door for others as well. Also I have a call in to Vogue. The fashion angle is important. Appeal is the way to go, at least if you want to sell poetry. Remember, Cosmopolitan said you were the sexiest and most glamorous poet in America.”
“You can’t believe all that, it’s just PR!”
“But it’s the kind of PR that sells.”
“If I weren’t so preoccupied about my brother’s predicament, I’d be able to enjoy it, but Adele, I know his life is in danger and I know he doesn’t realize it.”
“Calm down, Adeena. All you have to do is explain the situation to Rory. He has a lot of experience, connections, and legal smarts—he’s the best lawyer to advise you. Did you take my advice and dress to the nines?”
“Of course, I did, dear, I always take your advice. I waved and blow-dried my hair so it has bounce and flounce, and I’m wearing my red pantsuit with the white frilly blouse and my black flair and red-striped vest. I feel like an astronaut on a mission to Mars.
“Oh, my lord, Adele, there it is! I’m across the street—I can see it now, the building is awesome—all glass and silver chrome spires to the heavens. It’s a Glass Palace indeed, and right on Lexington Avenue. And the atrium! It’s a ne plus ultra corporate cathedral—palm trees five stories high that don’t even reach the ceiling, and a four-tier futuristic silver escalator to the elevator bank, several floors above.
“I feel like Amelia Earhart! Her last plane was the Silver Electra that took her disappearing in the heavens. Adele, just thinking about ascending that streamlined escalator gives me an idea for a poem about her. I’ve always been fascinated by her mystery. Oh, these lines just popped into my head: