A friend wrote to me the other day saying "poets have the gift of seeing beauty everywhere, even in ugliness." Well, that's not how we tend to think of it these days, but terminology aside, it's true. What else is happening--I mean other than the perception of some kind of beauty--when you're sitting by the window in a bar and it's starting to get dark outside, and you cast your eye over all the people packing the tables in the fading light--some beautiful, some ugly, some smiling or staring keenly at a lover across the table, some chattering, some lost in their own thoughts or looking like they wish they were dead--and you see them all, all at once, and there's something about the tableau of everybody seen in that moment in their various lives that you know you're going to have to put down on paper, or on the computer screen, when you get home? What is happening there other than a perception of a kind of beauty?