Saturday, February 4, 2012

Poetics: Black, i take her


"When I grind it,
it smells like soy sauce,"
the boy barrista behind the counter
says, his curls slithering for his eyes
as he folds scalded milk
into espresso

"Smooth though," i

& he, "Yeah, it's one coffee
i can drink black."

but i've been drinking it
like that since days on the docks,
loading, unloading my way through
high school, among the old men

old men then, now i empathize
their cheers of "go young man"
between sip & steam blow
as i tossed mine back to move
twice as many boxes, thinking
it impressive

a young man's folly, to finish quick
my oldest lover, wet lipped & warm
i take her in my mouth, no longer
ever green or cherry, heady & deep
upon my tongue, tight roping veins
in bare feet, i am young in her, i am
days and nights along her surface, culture,
moments, memories writhe
each taste & she flaunts
her boldness without need
to tease or be dressed
sweet or cut with milk---

"Black is the only way i take mine,"
i tell him, "any other is not to accept her
for who she is."

He is off to another customer already,
but one day perhaps he will understand
and i let the cup settle atop the wood table
admiring the way the sun slices
across her body, whisper

"good morning..."

Over at dVerse Poets today, Mark Kerstetter is tending the pub and having us focus on an object, making it come alive. I probably went a bit afar a field but, it was some good coffee this morning and i could not help myself. Drop in at 3 pm EST and he will explain it far better than I. See you there.

submitted as well to Poetry Jam.

110 comments:

DJan said...

Mmmmm. Very full bodied. I take her with a bit of cream, but never sweet. Loved this living cuppa, Brian.

Tabor said...

I guess I will never see my morning coffee in the same way again! Lovely images.

Polly Janos said...

I am in love with the similes in this piece. Who knew a morning blend could evoke such feeling. Masterful.

Daniel said...

I have my cup beside me know. For some reason it tastes a bit deeper this morning. Blessings.

kaykuala said...

Had always taken my coffee black.But with espresso you cannot have it any other way.The creamer blends with it. Great write Brian!

Hank

Laurie Kolp said...

Oh, my... that's some hot coffee there, Brian.

You used to work on loading docks? Pete is in the maritime business... loves it.

Heaven said...

You are very perceptive. I don't take coffee now but I did a long time ago, black, with a little sugar but its all that flavour i want to take.

Though I write with a sensual twist, I don't let myself go like you do with your words. This is a morning delight and thanks for visiting me in my other blog ~

happygirl said...

I always think of my Joe as masculine. It would change the timbre of the piece. I was sipping while reading, does this mean I was... :)

Fireblossom said...

Well, if you went far afield, I'm delighted that you did. The last two stanzas (+ 1 line) made this my favorite poem of your EVAH! Just love it, Brian.

Valerie said...

Brilliant. Just how I remember coffee, black and untarnished, but it turned on me and I had to give it up. Sad.

Sheila said...

Oh how fun! The one I wrote yesterday will be perfect for Poetics. I'll take cream and sugar in mine please (smiles)

Gloria said...

nice,nice, Love the pictures!
Love coffe too!
I think this is really sensual (lol)

Shelley Lundquist said...

This ode is delectable! Sensuous and satiating... Almost makes me want to give up tea!

Eva Gallant said...

I never cared for coffee, but you make me rethink that.

sage said...

I love it and I never adulterate my coffee with milk or sugar (the same goes for my tea and my scotch, although I do add ice to them)

manicddaily said...

Ha. Lovely how this jumps around, and of course, I like all the layers! Very nice--sweet even if the coffee isn't. K.

Tara Miller said...

For the love of coffee!!! Your words with the picture makes a cup of coffee really come to life. And in this day and age - coffee seems to connect us all whether it's sitting around holding it and talking, playing games or going deep in thought. Enjoyed this love.

Pat Hatt said...

Geez did you burn you hand on the coffee?
Must have let it sit for a while at your sea
Just to cool down a bit
And yeah I'm still part of the cocky move fast pit
Will slow down when I can't move or am in the ground
Hmm that doesn't sound too profound..haha

hedgewitch said...

I love my java--not perhaps quite as much as you do(!)--and I loved the lines about " i am young in her..." I'd go so far as to say 'i am braindead without her...' But not to stray here, this is excellent, brian. One of your best.

Mary said...

Beautifully expressed coffee poem. Sensual, hot, dark, and deep....'spoken' by one who knows of what he writes! I've had MY share already this morning.

Magpie said...

Fogged up my glasses on this one. :)

Adam said...

great coffee poem

Secret Agent Woman said...

I'm with happygirl, coffee has always seemed to me like a masculine drink. (Red wine feminine).

"a young man's folly, to finish quick" Indeed.

Christine said...

ah, coffee, that tempts me too, "temptations' is the flavor over at Real Toads, think I'll get another cup now

Myrna R. said...

Funny, I'm drinking a cup of java right now. It tastes so much better after reading all you can say about a cup of coffee. I never imagined such sensuality in it.

Fred Rutherford said...

Some great description, loved all the sensory in here. Coffee never sounded so good, and I do love a good cup of coffee too. Thanks

Jira said...

Those behind the counter are in a hurry to get the coffee to those waiting for them to hurry up and give them their morning jolt. It's the hurry up and relax syndrome... give it to me now so I... may... drink... it... slowly... :)

Friko said...

a love song to a cup of coffee, black as the night.

Hot and tasty!

Sue said...

I'm not a coffee drinker, but this tour de force nearly converted me.

Man, that coffee was HOT.

;)

LadyFi said...

So sensuous and beautifully written!

Peggy said...

What an unusual and wonderful ode to coffee!

tera said...

Wow. And I thought I had a thing for coffee. Silly me. :)

Claudia said...

see i'm sitting in this train with shaking knees from your fabulous sensual write and braindead from acting, performing and writing all day and all i want is a coffee - and i take him black as well.. my coffee.... smiles

wood said...

well, i owned a coffee shop for 6 years, and, i used to work a forklift, so this hits me like dead on. and if you have to pour cream or sugar into it, then you might as well pour it out... thats my view. i really miss driving over to my coffee roaster, picking up my 40 or 50 pounds of fresh roasted (that morning) grade one organic coffee every week, i miss drinking it even more. well penned my friend

FrankandMary said...

I'm getting this urge to put espresso over my brown rice.
~Mary

otin said...

I'm a cream and sugar guy all the way. Black = Bluccch! lol

CiCi said...

Oh my gosh, I do love my coffee and you have written this sensual and inspiring post for all of us to relish. Very good writing, Brian. I like how you describe your work as a young man and give a glimpse into what you have learned as an adult.

Geraldine said...

Good morning indeedy!!! I'll never look at my morning cuppa the same way again. Thanks Brian.

Beachanny said...

Insightful, sexy, the images flowing from one into another like coffee into a cup, like memories into a mind, like merging with the one you love in truth, in honest color. Fine, fine work Brian.

Birdie said...

very sensual & all the same like Geraldine - i'll never look at my coffee the same way ... happy w-e Brian!

Kat_RN said...

A truly good cup of coffee is, poetry.
Kat

Elaine said...

Goodness Brian...you almost had me thirsty for a coffee. And I hate coffee.
Sweet...if you know what I mean:0)

Daydreamertoo said...

Phewww...One hot cuppa cawfee... I love mine with a little cream, no sugar.
Very lovely and, very sensual write from you! Who knew coffee could be soooo...Ummm.... hehe

Charles Miller said...

Black, like I like reality, served straight and with awareness of what the days bring, and broad shoulders to carry whatever comes. This poem, so virtuous in its honest vision and daring compassion, bring me to the lip of the day where I seek her kiss of forgiveness.

Tara said...

..."young man's folly"... love this as usual!

Louise said...

A sensuous and full-bodied write "his curls slithering for his eyes" ..mmm...need that first cup of coffee in the morning :)

marousia said...

Ah, the first coffee is always the best - stunning description - now I want a coffee :)

Rae said...

Whoa. That was truly awesome. Of all your writings this is my favorite so far. Really makes a cup of coffee sound inviting. Your talent amazes me. If you haven't been published, you need to be! Headed out to the coffee bar now:)

Natasha Head said...

Brian...you do like your coffee...um, this was ground beautifully, and I will confess to borderline blush...but never did you cross the line. Love the cold of the young gun on the dock, aiming to outshine all...this was amazing really.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, the weave between the two kinds of heat and "strength," comparing java to, you know.

"a young man's folly, to finish quick my oldest lover, wet lipped & warm" ... This is a phenomenal transition into your metaphorical language.

I am crazy about this line: "tight roping veins in bare feet"

And this, I love:
"memories writhe
each taste & she flaunts
her boldness without need
to tease or be dressed
sweet or cut with milk"

Your ending is so awesome: "good morning." Just perfect!

~Shawna
rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Semaphore said...

Double espresso, three sugars. I guess we take our coffees like we write our poetry.

Anyes said...

Strong and hot is the way of my coffee, nothing better in the morning ;-)

Mark Kerstetter said...

Black is for the serious coffee drinkers. In Miami I used to drink colada with lots of azucar. These days I like to use a porcelain filter cone. Love the way your poem ends, Brian.

kez said...

Cool write and I'm not a coffee lover ..unless its cake or tiramasu ..real love affair happening here loved it thank you x

Sandi McBride said...

I always knew that coffee inspired poets...well done, Sir...for me my coffee is very much a full bodied strong elixir...much like my husband...but I take a shot of half and half to calm it down! Can't have to much of a good thing.
Sandi

paysan said...

Thats beautiful Brian, I normally have my coffee strong with milk but you've just converted me to black...

Linda said...

I could see this poem in a book with other poems about everyday life in America, 2012. Expressive expresso, Brian. Thanks...

Linda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stu_mcp@hotmail.com said...

Awesome piece- where would we be without coffee? :) I loved the way you describe your relationship here- its more than just a cup of coffee- its history, it's memories, it's reflection, it's like a girlfriend or as you describe it 'a lover'. The imagery I got in the last stanza was stunning- with the sun slicing - I was there with you.

cj Schlottman said...

Brian, I never thought of coffee as feminine. In French it is always masculine, and I love that language. This poem has all the elements of a love poem, and it is laced with sensuality. I love it.

Namaste.........cj

Me said...

Wow, I thought I was the only one who loved coffee that much. Haha...

Yowza. :)

Mama Zen said...

That's some damn good coffee!

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"Black is the only way i take mine," i tell him, "any other is not to accept her for who she is."

Bonjour! Brian...
What a very descriptive image you paint with your [poetic] words here:"He is off to another customer already,but one day perhaps he will understand and i let the cup settle atop the wood table admiring the way the sun slices across her body, whisper..."

On a personal, I don't think that you went:"a bit afar a field but, it was some good coffee this morning and i could not help myself..."

Nice image...too! and please pass the equal and creme.
Merci,
deedee :-D

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Good morning, indeed!

irene said...

Brian, I enjoyed your coffee lover poem a lot. The setting & the story works together so well. I've always liked coffee black.

Margaret said...

Absolutely delicious! You know, there are times I go to bed thinking about my morning cup of coffee... ha! ... and do you say that "good morning" in a husky voice? :)

lori said...

Thought I would hop on over to take a peek at what you're up to these days. I see your words still drip with delightful poetic honey.

Mmmm. Looking forward to morning coffee now :)

tracy said...

Oh. My. God. You have just written my anthem.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

I can get the aroma of your wonderful coffee here. Yes, coffee is heavenly when taken black.

I love tea too.

Have a lovely Sunday,
Joseph

JANU said...

a love affair with coffee?..I love tea. :-)

Dave King said...

It has more of a smack when it's black! (I'd still like to know where you buy yours.)

♫♪♥PhilO♥♪♫ said...

Lovely :) I like it black too :D

Bianca said...

Coffee has never looked so hot! Great poem!

adan said...

super job on the prompt brian! i'm big on the coffee thing, and this was great!

loved many parts of it, esp,

"she flaunts
her boldness without need
to tease or be dressed
sweet or cut with milk---"

as for going to far afield, hey, that's what's outside the box is for ;-)

Lorraine said...

how special and wonderful and I'll take mine in any way at all :) I love this Brian

Zuzana said...

Dear Brian, the boys are at a shooting range and I have the house to myself for a few hours.;)
Sorry for my absence, but I truly love to return to this piece here.;)
Very sultry and passionate, and yet you manage to express the universal truth in your words - to love the originality in everyone and everything.;)
Have a great Sunday,
xoxo

Steve E said...

WELL! That settles it, Brian...I shall drink my morning coffee in PRIVATE from this day forward--and take a cold shower after--grin!

Other Mary said...

Now that's what I call a real coffee lover, glad you now see the folly of finishing quick! lol, delish write Brian, can't think of a better way to start the day!

adeeyoyo said...

It must REALLY have been good coffee, Brian, lol!

Dianne said...

hot and finely ground,
I use a french press.

Ha!Thanks for the comments,
Di

TALON said...

I loved this, Brian. I could smell the coffee and felt like I was eavesdropping.

Rachel Hoyt said...

Mmmmmmm... I'm just having my first cup now. Delicious words! I couldn't tell if they were talking about coffee, work, or getting old. Loved it!

Snowbrush said...

What a delightful poem, Brian!

Goofball said...

my cousing is a coffee lover and has had a coffee blog for a long time.

He blogged last week on all "barbarians"...people that pour a lot of milk in their coffee. Even worse, a so called cappucino served with whipped cream. Barbarians


i agree with him. I must have my coffee with milk because in fact I dislike the true taste of coffee

ayala said...

Love coffee...Love this! Sensual and it just takes us to the next level :)

♥ dulce ♥ said...

Your aim was to feel and make us feel it- goal achieved, my dear- shame i have no coffee at this time of day, but i wish i had one right now!

Teresa said...

Amazing write! I know my cup of coffee in the morning will certainly be savored a bit more tomorrow as I think about this poem.

lynnaima said...

this was lovely, writhing lil one to my eyes and mine, I loved it a lot, well done! :)

Yousei Hime said...

So smooth I'm almost willing to omit my cream and sugar.

yellowhousecafe said...

Dang, didn't think anyone dug coffee as much as moi, ha! Your third stanza is a work of pure poetics, love it. Sadly, I read this at half-time, actually considering busting out the french press...hmmm, the wine works better, though, with my snacks! Enjoy the game ~

Bodhirose said...

Whooee...that's some cup of joe...

kenny said...

Haha! Black is the to only way I'll take mine! Funny, playfull, nuanced!

wolfsrosebud said...

love how you took one object and made it into a story.

sharmishtha said...

i prefer black coffee with sugar.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

What wonderful imagery!

I'm a cappuccino gal myself -- even have my own machine. My prices are much more reasonable than Starbucks. :)

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Oops! I forgot to thanks you for your fun contribution to last week's Limerick-Off.

Lolamouse said...

That was some HOT coffee, Brian! I think I love coffee even more now!

Stafford Ray said...

Was not disappointed as usual.
I took the setting to be that you were not alone and the banter with the barista was meant to be heard in full meaning by your partner as a statement of love. But any way you read it the black coffee was hot.

Heather said...

Amazing! Ah - good morning - lovin my coffee
This is great
I've been away from the computer with family in town
Nice to come back to read this!!!!

Heather said...

Amazing! Ah - good morning - lovin my coffee
This is great
I've been away from the computer with family in town
Nice to come back to read this!!!!

♥ Braja said...

hmmm. i'll accept her for who she is. sure.

but then...

every girl likes jewelery...

for her, it's cream

sweet, sweet, cream :)

Helen said...

I'm bringing up the rear here .. save me a cup!

Lydia said...

Lovely....I wish my Finnish grandmother were alive for me to mail this to her. It is how she approached her cup of coffee, full of memory, reverence, and excited expectation.....slurp!

william said...

I loved it, only you can take a simple cup of coffee into a magical thing.. I toast you..

Jody Costa said...

black for me ever since the double shifts of a restaurant :) lovely!

Lady Whispers said...

lovely :) I love coffee :D

myheartslovesongs said...

{{{gotta love that good coffee!}}}

"memories writhe
each taste & she flaunts
her boldness"

stunning!!!

Ed Pilolla said...

i really enjoy your coffee house scenes. i don't know how many you have done, but you have some beauties.

Alyssa Santos said...

a multi-layered relationship masterfully written

PattiKen said...

Wow, now that was a hot brew!