Friday, March 20, 2020

SAFE DISTANCE EDITION: Stone Soup Croutons, 3-18-20, Day One Lockdown

Stone Soup Croutons is a weekly poem I write using lines and impressions picked 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.

Welcome to the first Safe Distance Edition of Stone Soup Croutons. I almost called this the "Online Version," but that doesn't work since all my Croutons poems start out online. Also, I don't want to call it anything like "Corona Version" or "Quarantine Version" and start out as negative. Save my negativity for what I write, that's what I say.

On Wednesday, I sent out a call for my friends and fellow poets to give me words, phrases and/or poetry lines for a new Crouton piece for today. We can't meet in the same room for a while, and with work I was in no condition to set up an online forum. Hopefully next week. I want to maintain habits as much as I can. Writing poems is just one routine. I'll get back on the hosting horse soon.

When doing Stone Soup Crouton poems, I normally gather my impressions by jotting notes down while people read or taking video so I can recap later. Occasionally, I will ask a poet to send me a text copy of their poem. This is the first time I'm going by written words form everyone. Being this open about the work will likely show how much of a fraud I am should enlighten you all about my creative process. Seriously, I've gotten more than one "polite" question as to whether or not I just cut and paste lines from other people. Hopefully this transparency will show that's not what I do.

Of course the poem is topical. For the last few days at my job, it's been nearly impossible to write about anything, let alone current events. I thought I was doing so well recently, writing poems as the now daily horrors were happening. Turns out I was still on the outside looking in for most of what has transpired these past three years. Now I'm in the thick of it, and I'm glad to be working on new pieces again.

I am grateful to everyone who participated in my little selfish act this week. Hopefully, next week will be even more communal. Thanks for reading.

Day One Lockdown

Enjoy your tea-powder soup.
Should have shopped instead
of hitting bars that kept open.

Home is lonely without food.
Never contemplated how
empty shelves compose soul.

Sad enough to miss your bus,
distance to stop outside door
feels as close as Mars.

Wake up past daybreak,
a doe in search of headlight
to blind you back to sleep.

Hobble to your window
to catch last bit of sun
and yell it the fuck away.

From couch, contemplate dirt
in dried out boots for sustenance.
Fade out on couch. You got this.

No open mic sheet. Here's a picture from my new work commute on foot.

Love and thanks to David Miller, Black Byrd, Shannon McGinnis, Corrie Kerr, Shannon O'Connor, Toni Bee, Andrew Pezzelli and Christopher Kain. 

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