gt;A Banker in the Brothel of Blind Womengt;gt;gt;A banker strutted into the brothel of blind women. “I am a shepherd,” he announced, “and blow my shepherd’s pipe as often as I can,but I have lost my flock and feel that I am at a critical point in my life.”“I can tell by the way you talk,”said one of the women,“that you are a banker only pretending to be a shepherd and that you want us to pity you, which we do because you have stooped so low as to try to make fools of us.” “My dear,” said the banker to the same woman,“I can tell that you are a rich widow looking for a little excitement and are not blind at all.” “This observation suggests,” said the woman, “that you may be a shepherd after all, for what kind of rich widow would find excitement being a whore only to end up with a banker?”“Exactly,” said the banker.gt;gt;gt;gt;The Everyday Enchantment of Musicgt;gt;gt;A rough sound was polished until it became a smoother sound, which was polished until it became music. Then the music was polished until it became the memory of a night inVenice when tears of the sea fell from the Bridge of Sighs, which in turn was polished until it ceased to be and in its place stood the empty home of a heart in trouble.Then suddenly there was sun and the music came back and traffic was moving and off in the distance, at the edge of the city, a long line of clouds appeared, and there was thunder, which, however menacing, would become music, and the memory of what happened af- ter Venice would begin, and what happened after the home of the troubled heart broke in two would also begin.gt;gt;gt;gt;Poem of the Spanish Poetgt;gt;gt;In a hotel room somewhere in Iowa an American poet, tired of his poems, tired of being an American poet, leans back in his chair and imagines he is a Spanish poet, an old Spanish poet, nearing the end of his life, who walks to the Guadalqui- vir and watches the ships, gray and ghostly in the twilight, slip downstream.The little waves, approaching the grassy bank where he sits, whisper something he can’t quite hear as they curl and fall. Now what does the Spanish poet do? He reaches into his pocket, pulls out a notebook, and writes:gt;gt;Black fly, black fly gt;Why have you comegt;gt;Is it my shirt gt;My new white shirtgt;gt;With buttons of bone gt;Is it my suitgt;gt;My dark-blue suit gt;Is it becausegt;gt;I lie here alone gt;Under a willowgt;gt;Cold as stone gt;Black fly, black flygt;gt;How good you are gt;To come to me nowgt;gt;How good you are gt;To visit me heregt;gt;Black fly, black fly gt;To wish me good-bye gt;gt;gt;Continues...gt; gt; gt;gt; gt;gt;gt; Excerpted from gt;Almost Invisiblegt; by gt;Mark Strandgt; Copyright © 2012 by Mark Strand. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.gt; All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.gt;Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.