and if all you wanted
was hedges and yellow lines of roads
it would be fine in this cold house,
but, of course, you wanted
to share the sordid minutes of your childhood,
the falling plane, the other friend who died in the crash,
and I didn’t have any details
in the overstuffed carryon, save bricks
and doubt in the wooden nickels
and the Ajax that you use to scrub the sheets.
22, white shirt hanging
below blue zipper
and almost red hair.
He might say something about his poems
“I always start out with grand schemes for my poems,
like a book written in the airport
or at Macy’s or another one
dedicated strangely enough to a girl
I went out with in the fifth grade,
but those schemes seem to fold
and the best poems I’ve written are just
those little notes and hidden reminders
I’ve written to myself.”
or he might say nothing of this
and proceed to buy the new yellow copy of Brill’s Content,
read half of each article
and get his ass on the plane,
so that he could be picked up two hours later
by his girlfriend or maybe boyfriend
or by some other significance.
Yes, this is all perfectly imaginable.
Coffee after a Sunburned Morning at the Beach
There aren’t any public bathrooms
in this coffee house
in Santa Cruz.
What do they expect us to do
with all of that coffee?
And I am sure
that they have
an employee bathroom
in the back,
that’s not up to code
But when I ask them
about the uncoded odorific pisshole
they lie and cheat
and ask me
if I’d like a refill.
And when I say
I don’t want one
unless they have a bathroom
they tell me
that I’ve sat
for the time
that a cup of coffee
So, I walk next door
and jump into the bathroom
of a fancy hotel
which clearly says
it’s for customers only.
Luckily, next year,
in Santa Cruz.
Francis Raven is an editorial assistant at the Journal of Aesthetics and Art
Criticism. Broken Boulder press recently published two of his chapbooks called “Notestalk” and “Notationing.” Warnell.com published an
electronic chapbook of his entitled Do Not Add Up. His poems have been published
in Pindeldyboz, Monkey Bicycle, Mudlark, Pavement Saw, Poethia, Beehive,
Gestalten, Untitled, The In Posse Review, The East Village, The New
Colonist, and Taint, among others. He has had essays and articles
published in Clamor, In These Times, Fulcrum, Rain Taxi, The New Colonist,
Taint, and Pavement Saw.