Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Stone Soup Croutons, 8-22-16, Playtime

Stone Soup Croutons is a weekly poem I write using lines and impressions picked up from poems overheard from Stone Soup's open mic readers and features. I figure out a title (and sometimes the rest of the poem) later. To paraphrase Lorne Michaels, the poem doesn't go up because it's good; it goes up because it's Tuesday morning. I've done fifty of them now, and you can read them here.

Not only did we have Mik Augustin's feature, we also bid farewell to the man known as Big Poppa Ben, who has graced our open mic many times over the past year. A slightly sad but happy night. So it's a surprise the poem came out so dark. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.


The ongoing dilemma
either to serve others faithfully
or ride the Paris caravan
until you're left with your hand out

in the clothes your mother dressed you in
when she confided to her yogi
that she couldn't see bringing you to term,
which to her meant middle school.

Is it better to argue in a bar
over poetry and prose,
winner going to whoever writes
the most colorful ode
to their favorite vodka.

Or are we better off
splitting up cheese and cracker
Packets, pretending we're feeding
our broken families.

Our prayers go out to our
astronomical deities.
Neptune waits solemnly,
glazing over jokes
to neighbor Uranus,
ignoring Pluto`s calls.

We continue to play house,
Pretend we're colin enough
to not hit children younger than us,
sing refrains to AM radio sons
our parents once listened to,
act like we know the meaning
of every song on their cassette albums.

We make believe we know what to do
when bit by ticks in the woods
and try to eat our carrots
without first turning them into weapons.

Soon the grand matriarch
comes in while we nod off
at the dinner table, then leaves,
done with us for good,
her war stories at an end.

Let's go back to that game
of trust, telling ourselves
we cooked the corn property,
then not eat it. Let's smuggle ourselves
in tomorrow's trash pick up,
follow it out to Spectacle Island,
labyrinth a way to our last family trip,
our last chance to visit someplace nice.

My last minute promo for Poppa Ben.

Apologies to Gawaine Ross, who left before I could call him.

Special thanks to Bill, Chris Fitzgerald, Dave Somerset, Nancy Messom, Lee Varon, Shannon O'Connor, Eileen Cleary, Martha Boss, Janet Cormier, Erik Nelson, Denice Garcia Benders, Dexter Roberts, Big Poppa Ben, Carol Weston, Julia Carlson, Mary Ann Honaker, Jonathan J. Joseph, Toni Bee, Mik Augustin, JLA and James Van Looy.

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