86 That

Go ahead, tell your sob story to the spoon
and the coffee cup,

how your addiction to night sky
started with poetry, the gateway drug, 

and now you are mainlining – 
shooting stars – your veins twinkling

with broken bottles
and shards of Christmas lights.


Go on, lament to this plate of eggs
and Tabasco

the fate of words like tigers 
performing tricks 

with what's left of the magician's sleeve,
or the sound of violins

playing blackjack
on their shoestrings, hit me.


I listen to your sling, your hash,
your blather spread

on whole wheat or white,
your second, or third, or fourth marriage

to sonnets, to Surrealism, to Whitman,
feeding the doggerel scraps

under the table,
stumbling down 12-steps 

into the void.

For Shay’s Word Garden and TSM

25 thoughts on “86 That

  1. Ever the cock-eyed optimist, qbit. 😛 This sounds like someone down on their own writing, as happens to us all and we temporarily want to chuck everything we ever wrote into the nearest river. I had an entire year like that, but bounced back. When I went through my recent (at the time) poems for my Gypsy Bird Cage collection, there was a whole year of almost nothing I cared to preserve. 2019 I think? Not sure. On this poem I have to say, I loved feeding the doggerel scraps and the whole breakfast as metaphor idea. Eat hearty, qbit, you are a poetry god.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read this as something addiction-sexy. As if the speaker is a writing-program prof, seducing his students. The point is, all in the room are drooling over poetry. They’re in a self-help group together, not even trying to fight against their need for heroin squirts and stabs. They know who they are and what they have.

    It’s also, more obviously, a waiter or bartender thinking and rolling his eyes about his customer(s), cutting them off. Though tomorrow, I might read it differently still.

    This is really amazing … the whole thing, but especially this:
    “and now you are mainlining –
    shooting stars – your veins twinkling
    with broken bottles
    and shards of Christmas lights.”

    I like the hinge-point, “listening,” at the end. It’s unclear who’s stumbling — the reader or the speaker — and I like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, you have such great reads. I’m glad you liked those lines, I liked them too. Agreed, ambiguous about who “you” and “I” are at the end, I hope that was interesting.

      Like

  3. This reminds me of a movie about a teenaged would-be poet trying to learn all she can from a curmudgeonly older professor/poet, trying to get rid of her. I can’t remember the name …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “the fate of words like tigers
    performing tricks

    with what’s left of the magician’s sleeve”

    “I listen to your sling, your hash,
    your blather spread”

    You rely are some kind of poetic genius. Thank you for writing and sharing your gift.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very good! I love talking to the spoon and the coffee cup, that bottle of Tabasco. So clever, this. Especially the line about poetry being a gateway drug. That it is. Many novelists begin their addiction penning poems. Happy Winter Soltsice!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this whole section:

    “Go ahead, tell your sob story to the spoon
    and the coffee cup,

    how your addiction to night sky
    started with poetry, the gateway drug,

    and now you are mainlining –
    shooting stars – your veins twinkling

    with broken bottles
    and shards of Christmas lights.”

    and these lines:

    “your second, or third, or fourth marriage

    to sonnets, to Surrealism, to Whitman,”

    Yup, I’m an addict too. This groups getting bigger 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “how your addiction to night sky
    started with poetry, the gateway drug,

    and now you are mainlining –
    shooting stars – your veins twinkling

    with broken bottles
    and shards of Christmas lights.”

    “I listen to your sling, your hash,
    your blather spread

    on whole wheat or white,”

    I guess I could cite every line in this for excellence. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love how you always say something in your own unique style that is so Qbit! You have an amazing talent my friend! I know this is a busy time of year so the fact you wrote this wonderful poem is awesome! The writers struggle is real and it is no respecter of persons. I have been on a long jaunt of writing whining myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I really love this!

    how your addiction to night sky
    started with poetry, the gateway drug,

    and now you are mainlining –
    shooting stars – your veins twinkling

    with broken bottles
    and shards of Christmas lights.

    The whole poem, is full of such interesting ideas and imagery. I agree with JYP. It’s just a great read!

    Liked by 1 person

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