Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

back when I rode my bicycle around Bellingham

 when coffee was work and pleasure  swimming

in lakes before sprinting to work, our tips powered

economies and kept the wheels of industry spinning


after work we gathered like rain in the middle of streets

like whales in a pod, pooling our resources, those

stranger given compliments, tips, collected like children’s

wishes in the bottom of jars; we rode, the change heavy in our pockets


when the sky was smudged charcoal and our eyes

fixed on distant selves, we counted coins

on the counter, until Jessie just winked and slid the pitcher

across to us with glasses, frosted like winter windows


and our tips became his, nightly divided between

bartenders and the man who worked the door

where I let Richard Buckner check my I.D.

where I tried not to drink too much nor too early


our labor made the city spin

our voices wove the tapestries of background

we were the heartbeat to every dark night

spent spending and waxing toward the dawn

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Ignore the url of this blog, people, because we are back and by WE I mean, yes, ME and of course, the Hightouch. So tune in here every day during APRIL, that cruel, cruel poetry month because we are poetry-ing every day. Yes, EVERY DAY!!

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Poem #5

Drinking with Albert Goldbarth at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

When Lisa says Schadenfreude in the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company,

the world does not come to an end, though it shudders a little.

She is sure she will be forgotten, that she slips from the minds of famous

poets the way knowledge dissolved in the mind of Forrest Gump.

This, I know, is not the case. Because who could forget this?

I think, but do not say, that I hated the movie Forrest Gump, hate

the way knowledge becomes a villain, how simplicity candies everything.

I can’t say it here and so I sip my pretty good margarita, eat corn chips

and imagine updating my Facebook status to say “drinking with Albert

Goldbarth” because my Facebook friends know who he is, and even if

they don’t, I do. I can’t believe I passed up the opportunity to quote his

own poetry to him (“the painting beneath the painting”) and then mention

how I used it in one of my essays that was actually published. But I let

the occasion pass and when I say, for some reason, “drinking with writers”

he claims it as a title of his own. In fact, I know that Albert Goldbarth

is already writing a poem about drinking at the most estimable Bubba Gump

Shrimp Company, about how it is as bad as you imagine, except the great part,

when Lisa, a poet, knows the answers to the trivia questions. He probably includes

an outrageous description of the movie-themed décor, and the forced trivia quiz,

that we try to avoid, but cannot. The waitress presses the questions on us.  Even though I have

only seen the movie once, I know some of the answers, but I keep my mouth shut.

If Albert Goldbarth is going to forget me, I want it to be because I am utterly forgettable,

because I do not harass him, or beg him to remember me, because I say nothing

memorable. If he is going to remember me, I do not want it to be because I know something

I should not know. Oh, Albert Goldbarth, I know your poem is better than mine, yours

is done, but mine has you in it, and me and Lisa and Schadenfreude.

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Another Poem

I wrote this poem about taking  the train to school.

Drug Trax Boys

I see the drug boys in train cars,

tracks inside their arms like rails

leading them, dying, to an end.

When it snows I think: everybody

dies. The train always goes the other

way, opposite of my intentions. I could

catch it, that’s true, but where would I

end up? Farther away from home.

If you are roaming, boys, do not do

as I do. Do not wish and worship

the weather, as if it pays attention.

Do not think of desire as a ringing

you must answer. No one is home.

Seek instead the hollow hand. You know.

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Hi everyone! We’re using this blog to support our poem a day in April project. We hope you will post some of your poems, comment on others’ poems, encourage others to write a poem a day, complain about how hard it is, and celebrate when we are done.

If you have writer’s block, check here for assignments (stolen from elsewhere, no doubt).

Here’s an assignment for April 1: An ode to your favorite food. See Ode to a Large Tuna in the Market by Neruda. I also like Ode to Salt and Ode to My Socks. (but socks are not a food!)

Thanks for joining us. And good luck!

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