First thing in the morning
On stainless steel when the lights come up
And the first tinny percolations
From the coffee come up
And the first violent soliloquies
From the stinging slap of potatoes comes up
And the cold outside is all forgot
As fingers embrace and fresh heat comes up
And the first head nods match blade strokes
Cutting through Mirepoix as the beat comes up
And the first customers pace the deli case
Dan races to begin before the sun comes up.
tracking my window
long, raised, glimpses
into a distorted dimension
Douglas fir bends
from a blanketed sky
the mind is saddened
by things out of sight
which pass me by
beyond the window
what I see from the couch
trying to ignore the t.v.
I wont turn off
built in the spring
stand like haunting
after winter breaks
grey, bowing, laced in moss
peer over the half painted
fixer upper’s real estate sign
leaning into its fate
across the street
I’ve often stirred my coffee with the barrel of my pen
And oftener let both sit at the edge of my desk
That they go too cold to be useful to me
But now, with age, my hands have an un-sate-able shake
And my wish is to grip my coffee without the scalding drip
To stir it without leaving my pen sunk to its nib
I wanted to write a poem about grief. But I couldn’t get past the first line. I wanted the poem to exaggerate the emotion. Not only the griever’s. But also the consoler. The consoler wants to share stories of his own grief. But the time is wrong. The griever wants to be okay. But it’s okay to not be. And I was stuck at the first line. And the first line turned out to be the last line also. And that’s not much of a poem. This is my poem about grief:
That’s really too bad.
Talk about jobs like
Did four years in
I got this scar.
Blade came through
Here and out here.
Working Kirk Reeves
Had a trademark cap
That worked, baby!
Alas, his tm. belongs to
[a company whose name is forthwith redacted from this work].
I know myself.
I came to the doorway
With a mouthful of
But wasn’t allowed to
Cross the threshold.
It’s fuckin cold out there anyway.
Of labor’s distracting guile
For supposing tormented rest,
At the last of a droll day
When mothers coo absently
Heavy hungry bundles still
Glowing with moonlight,
I lament and gratify.
Under the concrete overpass. The train
Is ready to pull away from the platform.
This is when lowering your weight on the ball
Of your right foot, then leaning into it
To do the same on the left, one hard descent
At a time, becomes something more like falling.
You’re travelling to a job where you barely
Notice your own invisible victories,
So you may not consider how much practice
It’s taken – from when they held celebrations for
Each tiny step made by your tiny self –
To fall so gracefully from NE 60th ave,
And land on your feet without a skinned knee
From the spittle stained concrete below it.