Saturday, July 31, 2021


The first cup of coffee opens the blinds
on windows shut by a hypnagogic foray
laced with lavender hymns of jabberwocky.
You might as well have eaten mushrooms.

It cranks out warm air from the furnace of lungs
stoked by neurotransmitters run amok
and setting your brain on fire.
You’re in no hurry to call the EMTs

as long as your pulse takes its morning jog
in sinus rhythm and stays in the high double digits.
I mean, otherwise your blood would freeze
like the trickle of stream that’s the property line out back.

Why ruin a good thing like the legal buzz you have going
since waking is a zero sum game.
Somebody has to win, and if it isn’t a mug of chemicals,
then the hearse might be pulling into the driveway about now.

It opens the stops of a pipe organ,
makes life full-throated, Beethoven’s seventh
rather than a threnody on the triumph of your pajamas.
In fact, it weren’t for dark roast—lattes need not apply—

the word threnody would not have entered this poem.
Suddenly there are ideas.
Perhaps you will write a book or fall in love
or talk to pigeons in the park.

Let’s be honest: everything’s on the table
after two sips, maybe three if you overslept.
And it’s cheaper than therapy, right?
Why not give yourself a good talking to

rather than pour all of your hard-earned words
into the ears of someone with a fifty-minute attention span?
I see you’re finally taking my meaning.
The beans from South America are kicking in,

and your pupils are a bit constricted but focused.
You have had to part with your very last dream,
the racy one about Salome’s many-colored veils
now evaporating into early morning sun-steam.

~William Hammett

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