EXIT B  (for Bob Charest)
Two fire exits diverged in a college dorm,
And I, being one traveler--drunk and confused--
Could not well take both
And had no clue as to which to take:
The EXIT A or the EXIT B?

So I asked a janitor, who read Robert Frost
And wrote some song lyrics during his
Spare time, dreaming of fame and fortune
And those hot college girls--
So I said to him: "My friend, which way?"

He pondered a while, then as crazed as can be,
He looked like a madman long inside of me
And yelled: "You idiot and a drunken fool,
The answer is as clear as the light of day--
Take the exit that's closer--the EXIT A!"

And I, being a rebel with my Russian wit,
Told my dear companion: "You're full of it--
Mopping floors all day, writing songs at night--
No, I won't give in without a fight!"
So, in my stubbornness, I staggered through
The EXIT B instead and, alas,
It made not a bit of difference.

                                                  --Alexander Shaumyan
                                                      May 26, 1999