Two coffee poems

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These two “coffee” poems were originally published in Friends with Drinks, a project curated by my good friend Kathryn Hummel in 2016, described as “a worldwide creative collaboration mapping drinking and place”.

Long Black, Flat White

evenings we piece together : over coffee : the end-of-evening café : late : before closing : close to closing : as we spill out onto a street : where the chairs are stacked : the streetside tables packed away : a loose critique : a film we enjoyed : or didn’t : the silt of a long black : & flat white : crumbs : & rasping teaspoons : significances between words : that elude definition : or neatness : things we speak of : that need to be opened : from time to time : to change their dressings : to bring them out into the air & light : knowing they have changed : subsided : like a lung collapsing : or a heart : or a filament of thought : that needs unwinding : our habitual locales : this café, say : at the end of an evening : of how many evenings : as we spill out onto the street : still talking : the suburbs in abeyance : late walkers : passing taxis : & the whole entanglement: a world of light & shadow :

Citrine

sunlight that’s panelled in : extravagant : to the saturday morning café : late morning : with its coffee cups : & newspapers : grilled sandwiches : & poems : that make no inroads into the clamour : shouting from the streetside : from a cyclist : who anticipates a tort : as a driver turns left across his path : a wrong that’s averted : conversations that are diverted : then run on : poems dissected : their innards out : on the table-top : the mind’s scalpel : & the eye’s scalpel : the stereo throwing its insignia over everything : orange décor : retro : by which i mean contemporary : an up-to-the-moment version : of a ’70s platitude : wedges of a citrus tang : & dark wood : & antique tiles : that are du jour : on trend, as they say : as is our morning : flat white : & long black : on the sunset side of prospect road : everything but the poems : a strain of allusions : cocteau : derrida : mallarme : etcetera : & the vastness of the weekend morning : quiet suburban streets : tree-lined : that stretch away from the arterial : toward a vanishing point : of parked cars : & jacarandas : faux federation homes : that have stood a decade at most : po-faced : aspiring to a grandeur : of stylised sunsets : a moment we’re cosied in : this morning : in its version : of choleric cyclists : & pop-songs : poems packaged up : & the poem, writ large, unchanged : the dregs congeal : & coins keep changing hands :

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