Friday, August 10, 2018

Stone Soup Croutons, 8-9-18, When First is Just First

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. You can read the other ones I've done since 2015 here. To paraphrase Lorne Michaels, this poem doesn't go up because it's ready, it goes up because it's Friday morning.

Stone Soup is growing back again. New people every month. Happy about that. Today's poem came easier, with Michael Igoe joking about being the reluctant "first" on the open mic (the first three spots are generally shunned on open mics). I just went from there. Thanks for reading. 

When First is Just First

Lips pursed, poised
to whistle arrival
when no one waits.

No song ever survived
to be heard on the tracks
you walk over.

No one at the station
you could force into
announcing your presence

by a titular title
you pretend precedes
your nominal name.

Puddles piddle
addled applause
with every step,

variations otherwise
absent, no one
to even not care.

Just a day of heat
and rain. Sun has no one
important to impress.

Maybe it's another bill
your forgot to pay
to keep any light over you.

You try to launder
your bills in the hot mist,
earn a favor from someone.

This is not your home,
where street lights are
your entitlement,

where it's your privilege
to approach anyone in street,
be seen as potential threat

and not non-entity,
new path normally reserved
as chute for refuse,

ragman turned bagman
not knowing the location
of the first door you'll knock.

If a poet is first, it's a very reluctant first.

Special thanks to Michael Igoe, David Miller, Krystal, Laurel Lambert, Martha Boss, John Lan, Jan Rowe, Vicki Poulos, Jon Jarvis and James Van Looy. 

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