where the writers are
from "A Poet in Center City": "#24"
APoetInCenterCity.jpg

Christopher Severin was in. I’d enlisted him. What I felt we needed was a square— four guys. Ricky Flint, who worked with John and I at B & N, was a half-obvious choice. He was a science guy (grad of U of Chicago) who was also into literature; good-looking, in the manner of the three of us (dark hair and eyes; like me, bearded); a wild drinker and libertine; and a penchant for head-butting, intellectual and otherwise. I knew instinctively he would be the most difficult of the other three to manage. He had some issues with U of Penn; with what I was writing; with how I was running things, even before we began to put shows together. But, importantly, John and Ricky hit it off like a house on fire; two kids in their early twenties (Ricky was twenty-three), solidly Center City, rabid for new (or, in Ricky’s case, any) experience; their circuit was tight. So tight, in fact, that often Christopher and I couldn’t get a word (or a drink) in edgewise. Ricky likes to spite us two old fogies by sticking to John— but not sexually. Ricky’s straightness is also tight. The tensest circuit in the square is Christopher-Ricky; they’re both hotheaded control freaks, and they don’t get on. Where Christopher is concerned, Ricky starts with shoot-down routines immediately. Just generally, what Ricky brings to the table is some light (vivid, educated intelligence) and a whole lot of darkness. The fire which animates him has a harsh, destructive edge.