Cleveland and them hung out in that Watts cafe used
to be across the tracks on a diagonal north of the workshop off 103rd. No women were allowed at that table unless being schemed upon, or of exceptional beauty. But I was a stubborn little mud hen at the fringe of
the clique, starved for approval. So one day Cleveland and them was sitting at the table.
and maybe Eric and one other brother. I boldly intruded on their exclusivity with my neat little sheaf of poems. "And so you write?" and "Let us see one!" And the
other brother took it and read it out loud and they passed it around the table. "Hmmmm" and "Ahhhh." And I blushed and my stomach tightened twice for each of my 19 years. "Oh yeeeaahhh," said Cleveland. "You are a writer,