This free verse piece was written around the same time as the bulk of the poems that make up my debut book, The Year that Stole the Light Away. I stumbled onto it this morning, and after seeing it with fresh eyes, I thought it would be nice to give it a home. A piece about the child that lives in us all: I hope you enjoy it.
She remembers me from years ago, but I can’t say the same. She says her mind is troubled.
She tells me her mother ran off with her stepfather. They’re traveling the country in an RV.
She tells me she deserved more when her father died. Now that bastard gets it all!
She leaps from her chair and loudly re-enacts an argument, jabbing her finger into a phantom chest.
Her eyes fill with tears, and at sixty years old, a lost child cries out for her mother.
I hadn’t thought about this free verse poem in a while. Before the pandemic, one of my favorite places to write was a restaurant booth or in a coffeehouse somewhere- surrounded by lives being lived and the hustle of the day. The electric air thick with poetry.
Please, come back.
The Musings of a Future Yelper:
They’ve never been able to maintain a restaurant at this location, and many have tried.
It’s not a bad spot, either. Downtown, right on the avenue, the best bars within walking distance.
I’ve sampled every establishment that attempts to put roots down here. They’ve all been decent enough.
For whatever reason, the people won’t come. Sushi, Burgers, Piano Bar, it makes no difference.
I’ve sampled cuisine from four different countries and sat in the same shitty booth each time.
Outside, the rain falls steadily. It’ll be this way for the next several days, and I’m sad my daughter might not get her last train ride of the season.
Three men enter the restaurant and sit directly in my line of sight.
Above me, a TV plays sports highlights and when they watch, it feels like they’re staring.
Maybe they are? I’ve reached that elusive point in life where it makes no difference.
The burger and fries are too salty— what a shame.
My waitress asks how everything tastes, and I lie to make her feel better. She smiles her crooked smile and fixes her peroxide-blonde hair.
I ask for my ticket and she’s out of sight again. I begin to review my latest poem.
I’m writing about food a lot lately. I’ll be yelping before you know it.
Outside, the rain pours on, gathering into puddles and flowing down the drain.
In a year of incredible uncertainty, one of the few things that brought peace was the reading and writing of poetry. I released my first book of poems, The Year that Stole the Light Away, completed the manuscript for its follow-up (coming soon), and read everything I could get my hands on.
I decided to compile a list of my 10 favorite reads of 2020 as I believe they would be greatly enjoyed by anyone who appreciates the craft. I’ll provide the cover art with links to purchase. I won’t try and explain these collections, as I don’t believe in such things. They stand on their own, ready for you to discover what makes each uniquely powerful. Please note, not all of these were released in 2020 and they appear in no particular order! Enjoy!
Lean Against This Late Hour – Garous Abdolmalekian