coffee cup rhymes

(some days, the cup is half empty)

coffee cup rhymes

Floated on the road with cold drops dripping, exiting the cab after the customary tipping. Shambles of the storefronts, dirty glass panes, the clogged drains full of fallen leaves, uncleaned eaves. A funeral home bereaves, breathes, grieves, they line up in procession as the motorcycle leaves...

A child, infant, a suckling innocent, warm mother, extended family, the fourth homily in a stone church. Brothers, no sisters, burning joy like a skin blister. New life but no new wife, it’s no disaster (not like that movie, Twister).

Years pass, a ghetto blaster, teenage procrastination, fears of class tension, Hedges and Benson, fireworks reversed, the voice and tone terse, things were better once, but now they could be worse.

Rebellion in the body, brightness in the eyes, the smile the dimple, the mouth wide, the grin, so eager to begin, dive in, swim. Chance for an expression, relief depression, an obsession, no more clutter, a direction, all clearing bearing clean, an objective, some perspective. Resurrecting the spirit, a coolness, bold in sweeping surface; finally, a purpose.

Challenges, obstacles: the landlady, the rent, the hydro bill. Swill swallowed, indigestion, nasal congestion, reality, no insurance, just assurance, friends and concurrence, blurred observance, another acquiescence. Face up and look around, heads in sand, submission to that one particular gland. It’s Friday night, so stay up, uncorked bottle, dress full throttle, sit back, relax, get excited: you’re invited to meet the band.

Cycles: doubt, elation, penetration, the shock, the pleasure, relief, touching is a crutch, a drug, you’re my charming little lady bug. A made bed, a swept rug, you plug away, wait for graduation day. You pay, buy, get paid, apply, pray, sail the bay on holiday; you get by, congregate, agree, laugh it off as heresy; the cheque is in the mail.

You’re wrong: a storm, hail, wind, the house is not strong, it’s frail. Don’t fail, don’t quit until you find a job, keep at it, shutter the pane, windows, doors, ignore refrains--it’s just your brain. Holes in socks? Invest in stocks, triple-bolted locks, scotch on the rocks. Bet another chip, pass the dip, take a trip, the Titanic, a sweet ship, crew drunk but unsunk. Don’t slump, don’t slip, keep a grip on loose lips and we’ll make the port alright.

Lust, a man lost in a woman, God’s plan, propagation, cosmic props, girls and boys sneak in stores, buy sex toys. Write your vows kids, you’re both virgins, say ‘I do’ and then begin. Unzip, expose hickeys scars and body blows, consume your mate and swear off hos; the end result, nobody knows, where it stops and why it goes. Five star galas, seasonal shows, a nice steak knife, trophy wife, jealous prizes, eaten crows. Name your son, your future, hope, a scapegoat, leave your will for tots to tote--it’s eighteen years til they can vote.

Work, salvation, humiliation, dignity, personal property of the soul, back bent, lowly tasks, shoes eaten to the sole. Today’s a gift, the present, impress upon the future, import from the past. Sell them old ideas, profit panaceas, cooking up a reason to conquer North Korea. Damn the torpedoes, I do it for libido—do I look good in a Speedo? Shut the office in Toledo, boy we had a blast.

What the fuck? Bad luck, felled by a stroke, no joke, he’s done but had fun, in college took a toke. Hospital visits the doctor prohibits, only kin, no friends, it’s just cancer, happens often--take it like a man. Shut down the machine (in comas no one dreams), get real, it costs a thousand bucks just to buy his pills.

Step up to the plate, you know the drill: send them to heaven twenty-four-seven, stick the family with the bill. He grows cold, chills, old, over the hill, boo hoo, he’s dead, tough luck, my how time flew, that’s life, tell his wife I’m sorry, let’s clean up for tomorrow, Fred. Sorrow is another day, and there’s a waiting list for that bed.

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