Sunday, September 18, 2011

On Writing In Coffeeshops

I'm in a poetry mood again. Some titles I've started are "Kitty Heaven," "9 Lives," "Vs." and "Couplets." (Not to mention the "tree series," but that's a whole other story.) I just need to find the time to finish them. But one I did complete...

I found a really neat poem the other day. It's by Adrienne Su, from her book, Having None of It

On Not Writing In Cafes

It's too much like sex in a car:
fine as a concept (everyone needs
to be seen at times by strangers),
but reality seldom agrees.

It's clumsy. Whoever happens
along as you start to forget yourself
is not what you fancied - a relation,
a stranger you know too well.

The hand that isn't holding the pen
flails like an animal pinned by a leg.
And the gorgeous epiphany, just then
at the tip of your tongue, has fled.

(Used without permission. But hey, I am giving her proper attribution.)

I really like this poem. The opening simile is precious, so appropriate. And I love the last two lines as well.

But, I like writing in public places. I find that I draw a lot of inspiration when I'm out. So I wrote a counterpoint.

On Writing In Coffeeshops

Blatant exhibitionism:
public display of erudition,
or "PDE." Bringing your art
out, where characters and plot lines hide.

It's exhilarating. Choosing
from the menu board of sensations:
The java smells, the conversation hum,
the visage kaleidoscope.

You put down the pen and dream into
a stranger's words, tics, gestures, or silence.
And then it happens. The muse, elusive,
flirty, coy, has pulled up a chair.

Fun, huh?

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