Friday, January 10, 2020

Stone Soup Croutons, 1-8-20, Bomb Calm

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.

This Wednesday was Stone Soup's first night back since December. Our first gathering in 2020. A.J. Odasso did an amazing reading. A.J. said they will stop by Stone Soup next week, so I recommend you grab their book The Sting of It, which wasn't delivered in time for the feature.

I write all this because for my first time back to writing these poems in nearly a month, I don't think I'll capture the night as well as I wanted to. Then there were the first few days of the year, of course (seriously, are you better off than you were ten days ago?). A.J.'s work seemed to encapsulate not only a personal journey but the sadness of the past few years felt by a lot of people locally and in the country. I'm still trying to unpack it.

I am so grateful for Wednesday's attendees. Especially Zachary Bos, who was nice enough to get wine. I'm still a little overwhelmed from it all, so I'll just get to the poem. Thanks for reading.

Bomb Calm

Booze, booze,
enough hobgoblins
to drown Emerson.

This time, we wish
Abe Lincoln was
our father.

Though racist,
at least he did
something right.

It'll take another
freed nation
to return hope.

Sleep into,
wake up
from guilt.

Morning coffee
tastes like
ground plantation.

Chamber music
clinks in cars,
toneless bones.

Who is left
and healthy
to replace us,

origins all
separate cages.

Can't cry
in public 
over wounds

unless we
had aimed
at ourselves.

Save curses
for posthumous
tablets, unread.

Mockers call us 
mutant, change
under growing sun.

The open mic sheet. Tattered, battered, but not torn.

Special thanks to Bil Lewis, Zachary Bos, Chris Fitzgerald, Reina Danielle Adaird, Jacques Fleury, Chris Robbins, E.S., James Van Looy and A.J. Odasso. 

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