The poets tell us nothing is unfit for a poem.
Shakespeare would furrow verses from an amoeba
Clare from a broken blade of grass.
I sit in this Montmartre café
Eager, expectant, ready to make a poem.
Thankful that Paris boasts a pedigree,
Verlaine, Rimbaud, Apollinaire.
For isn’t this what poets do in Montmartre,
Watch and wait for the miracle to happen?
I catch the eye of a coffee cup on the next table,
Bring it a fleeting glance, now a studied look,
Attempt to conjure a relationship,
Intense in my lack of willing,
Hoping the it of the cup becomes a you, and finally an us as we fuse into verse.
Time glides on, chairs scrape the floor,
Voices colonize the space.
Trays are discharged of crepes and croissant,
While you remain unperturbed, content in your stillness.
And so we wait without intent or expectation,
My cup and I, easy in our togetherness,
Open to the spark, the sudden transforming burst of light,
That turns a poem.
Now you are lifted to a woman’s lips,
Tipped then tilted, caressed, and lingeringly emptied,
While I crave transference,
Desiring my own inner space to be similarly voided by the touch of lips.
Your function dutifully fulfilled,
You are gently set down.
The mouth now gorging a pastry,
The lips disfigured by berry juice,
I shudder at a troubling Francis Bacon,
The spell abruptly broken.
I pay my bill, shun the redundant cup,
Aware our closeness was a sham
That its decreed utility was all there was in our joining,
And that the poem that might have come
A forlorn grasping, a delusion and conceit.