Coffee at the Wrong Time of Day

These beans, blasted to powder, stink
dirt-rich and skunky in the afternoon sun.

I’m looking at a weekend with no
responsibilities and I’m a grownup.

The water boils.
I pour it.
Leather-tan froth
with oily blue iridescent bubbles
forms on the steaming black quag.

So I wake up at 1:30 and read for two hours
and feel like a tranked grizzly at 6:00 a.m. That’s
my own damn business. By god
the second cup tastes good as the first.

Advertisements

About Greg Bryant

I teach writing and literature at Highland Community College in northeast Kansas.
This entry was posted in poems. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Coffee at the Wrong Time of Day

  1. bryon says:

    “Stink … dirt … skunky … leather … oily … quag.” Evocative words, each hitting one of the reasons I don’t like coffee.

    I do like the poem, though. I like the note of defiance, although I’m not sure quite who it’s aimed at; anyone passing by, I suppose, who would dare to poke at a grizzly, even a tranked one, about his coffee habits.

  2. Greg Bryant says:

    …I’m not sure quite who it’s aimed at…

    Neither am I. Interesting. Myself, I think. No one else ever tells me not to drink coffee in the afternoon, but when I decide to, I always feel like I’m shrugging off someone who’s trying to stop me.

  3. bryon says:

    So it’s the self-censoring voice that you’re trying to drown with both coffee and attitude. “…and I’m a grownup.” “…my own damn business.” Yeah: it’s an attempt to silence or forestall the nagging we learn to do to ourselves over time.

    I like it.

    And now I’m going to silence my own (very, very quiet) scold and go eat the last ice cream sandwich.

  4. Chris Bartak says:

    “The water boils. I pour it. Leather-tan froth
    with oily blue iridescent bubbles
    forms on the steaming black quag.”

    That’s a very nice description of the “blooming” of the coffee in the press. I have to admit it’s making me want to go to the market, pick up some nice French roast or Espresso, and press me a pot.

    Alas, I’ll try to resist, lest I become a “tranked grizzly”.

    Nice poem. I like it.

  5. Doc Arnett says:

    I really like the sounds of the poem, lots of stressed syllables alternated with softer sounds in between. I also like the notion of turning something simple into that sort of liberating rebellion, too. A lot of our small acts are about much weightier things, I suspect.
    Some of the line breaks don’t really work for me but I’m pretty sure they’re quite deliberate and are what you want. Particularly in the third stanza, I like breaking the line after each of the first two periods to put even more time in between each action, letting the readers wait with you since you have them come look over your shoulder as you’re making the coffee, anyway… [Note: I like that idea. Revised accordingly. -gb]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s