Sunday, September 28, 2014

DD Poem - A Divorced Dad Makes Coffee


Here's this week's Divorced Dad poem.

A Divorced Dad Makes Coffee
Despite the sleeping pill,

He shivers, wide awake.  4:03am.
Awake with a blanket of anxiousness.
Mistakes the second pillow for a stranger’s
Coupled shoulder.  Just for a second.
Just enough to bribe his hopes.

Slaps his feet on the hardwood floor.
Shuffles to the kitchen.
Searching for a ritual.  Opens the cupboard,
And out scampers an unaware cockroach.
He collects the French press, the grinder,
Leans against the sticky silverware drawer,
Jammed tight with metal and takeout menus,
Pries it open.   Takes out the measuring spoon.
Places each pieces in a row on a flat towel.
In order.    Measuring cup in hand,
He fills it with filtered water,
And softly pours it into an electric kettle.
Flicks the switch, feels the coil at the bottom begin
To hum to life.   Opens the vacuum-sealed jar
Of coffee beans, inhales the initial scent. 
Lightly shakes them into the grinder, and closes the lid.
Three quick pulses at three seconds.
Then, artfully measured with the spoon, scooped
Into the press.  The kettle percolates, the switch pops
To life.   He yanks the cord from the wall.  Pours the water
Into the quiet coffee grounds, stirs them, set the timer.
Adds a pinch of kosher salt, stirs again. Begins to clean.
Scrubbing down the grinder. Drying the kettle.
Searching for the cockroach and his kin.
Timer beeps.  He steadies the wire mesh, hooks it
Onto the rim, and leans, breath by breath.
The liquid makes a quiet, compressed sound,  shhh shhh
Pooling from the pores of the press. 
He readies a cup, some sugar,   Tips the amber magic
Into his glass.  Combines the white, impacted grains of sweet
Sensation.   And it’s done.  Thirty five minutes passed.
Sun not yet a visitor.   He sips his coffee.  He does not smile.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

TFLN Poem - Blowjobs, Battlements


Here's this week's poem.

The time?
Yeah, I know –
I know it’s 4am, Sharon. I know.  And I’m sorry, sorry
For calling.  Metaphor still stands.
No – I ain’t saying you started when you were five years old
Like he did, or, or that you’ve delivered over six hundred performances –

Christ -
I just –
Dammit – I had this.

I had – I had the words.  Right ones racked together.
Know I’ve wasted your company.  Know I’ve dug a ditch,
Primed it with the reliquaries of reeking, time-battled treasures,
And I wouldn’t let you venerate or grind 'em to dust.

Hear me. Hear me.  Hear me.
I'm saying:

There’s no room for love in a house shock full
Of ghosts and knuckle bones.

You’d see me, eyes in the distance,
Face like the side of a scuttled mountain,
Gaze some thousand years away.   
Only time we’d bridge that gap,
Only time I could make a fearful, joyous present
In your care
Were those shadowed moments,
Surrendering to your wide, embracing eyes
And your warm-fed lips, tongue.

I do not inhabit the lie that I am beautiful.

But I’d share, for a tiny gram of experience,
Some of your beauty, that earthy, patient expression,
As we met.   In those benevolent hours,
Two starving beasts pawing hungrily
Under the canopy of the moon.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

DD Poem - A Divorced Dad Asks Out a Woman


Here's this week's Divorced Dad poem.  I pull for him sometimes.  I want him to win. At something.
Maybe I will too, one day.

A Divorced Dad Asks Out a Woman

There’s a faint ring of toothpaste
On his tie.

Enough to have him pace an extra block
Around the parking lot.

Shaking off the frantic urge to
Quit, go home, change into some sweatpants.
Jump under the covers.  Sigh balefully into the pillowcase,
As if the compound interest of regret
Could be some well-wished inheritance.

He points at the coffee shop. Strides towards the entrance.
Door open.  A light bell jangles to announce him.
There’s no line. No time to collect his thoughts.
She’s at the counter.  Name tag, weathered. “Miriam”,
Flick of white hair striped along a cusp of auburn tresses.
Resting face stoic, something you’d see
On Roman currency.   He shuffles towards her,
And recognition sparkles upon her cheeks.
A wide smile, the thief of decorum,
Marks his face, but he turns away
And resets his visage.
Glances at the soiled tie, sucks in his breath,
And asks her:
Why don’t we get dinner sometime?

The words, as they become corporeal,
After weeks and so much sleepless tension,
Now feel so simple. A reflex of living.  Children and fools say them.

Why has it been so hard?

Why has it always been so daggered with difficulty?
And sure,
Once spoken,
It’s only fair that someone has the right
To size up your form, your state of mind,
And know if that’s time well savored.
But there’s no control for that.
None at all –

And through this daydream,
He’s failed to notice
That she’s hastily scribbled something onto a napkin.
She softly strokes the back of his hand,
And he returns. She’s beaming. He sees the number,
Looks up, cups her hand with the warm fingertips of his second
Outstretched palm.  It is a glorious human moment
To be offered a chance, a precious chance,
This tender experiment.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

TFLN Poem - Conversation, Carnality


Here's this week's poem.

Here’s what I didn’t do:
Park the Saturn atop some
Cliffside, mountainous overlook.
Have my shirt prepped with two loose buttons
-          sprig of chest hair winking out of the seams.
Stretch and drape my arm around her milky shoulders.

I didn’t do this. 

We were pretty wired from watching the play,
Nestled shoulder to shoulder.
A few fingers grazed here and there, shifting a program,
Adjusting a coat. 
And now, at this point,
Talking.   Offering dissenting takes on Restoration Comedy.
She, wicked and clever, and peppered with salty speech.

My id struck, as I was clearly losing the battle of wits.
I tickled her.  Her body lurched and shuddered as she giggled.
Suddenly, her cheek cradled my lips and my right hand
Cupped her breast. An accident, both.

Yet, in that moment. We collectively inhaled and accepted.
She took my other hand, demanded symmetry.
I nibbled softly on her quickly reddening cheek, turned,
And found the other, patient and cool to the yielding touch.

Then, at last, we peered, hunger to hunger,
Mouth to mouth.  Ravenous, without words.
Not being clever or droll. Finally speaking.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

DD Poem - A Divorced Dad Punches a Wall


Here's this week's Divorced Dad poem.

A Divorced Dad Punches a Wall

He knew what he was doing.
He saw where the picture
Of the inspirational red Maserati was framed.
Cocked his fist,
Pushed up his glasses,
Moved his arm six inches to the right
(avoiding the unyielding stud)
And was gratified.
The drywall shivered into a gust of speckled powder
And the surface shook
And the skin on his right ring finger snagged a screw
-          But did not bleed –
Once done, like in all erotic acts,
He found himself humbled
With the clumsy task of extrication.
Using his second hand as leverage
To winch out the caged limb.
The hole now open, he peered
Into the mess he made, and sighed.
The walls, they're just air, cheap gypsum board,
And wood.
Not concrete like his childhood.

Nothing really lasts anymore.

Nothing holds up under the sudden fist of misery.