I am sitting at the café with two friends, and the most insufferable people imaginable at the table behind me. (They all came in at once, a group of eight, and the last forty-five minutes, they’ve been going on and on about apartments and real estate and rent and the like. Ugh.) Trying to get creativity running in that scenario is like trying to slice bread with a rock. I just made that simile up, but it’s a good summary, I feel.
I’m biting the bullet and starting Monday poetry workshops tomorrow! Nervous, excited, curious, etc. I have to decide what I want to bring to workshop, and would welcome any suggestions; but I have a pretty good idea already of what I want. On the one hand, I’m feeling pretty negative because of these assholes sitting behind me, and because of getting two more rejections from journals in my email. On the other hand, my workshop leader from the Winter Getaway just emailed to let me know that she’s loving my chapbook, and last night I went to a party with some friends where we talked about a collaborative project we’re getting together. One must take the good with the bad with the awesome with the awful, I suppose…
Donna suggests writing a poem made up of couplets alternating sound and silence, which is where this came from. This rock-sliced-bread poem was an attempt to glom together some images from Friday evening, when I was people-watching from a cafe window during a snowy evening. It’s about one-tenth of what I’d like to say about the beauty of that evening, but I’m blaming these people behind me, again, for stymying my output. (Now they’re talking about all their European vacations they’ve taken in the last couple years, and one guy just said, “Well, I’d go there, but I’m already taking so many other vacations this year.” I’m about two seconds from hurling my chair.)
watching the storm from a cafe
Sharp hiss of steam, espresso machine, grind and rattle,
and a lungful of words that mean cloud on the cold window.
Taxi cabs on Sixth Avenue pillory their horns with snow
and the light knows relativity, and comes to a halt.
A thousand passerby in scarves, thick coats, all bones, shouts,
and their footfalls grow invisible, paint small grey ghosts.
Beaded silk shatters and tumbles the color of night,
and a waltz, and a long tongue, and never lapping the ground.
The pitch-perfect people colliding on the slick sidewalks,
and their voices plucked at the ends, like baby’s breath, in water
slowly turning to ice.