Escaped from blaring horns
hectic pace and sweat filled nights
caused by deadlines and stress.
Driving on two lane byways now.
The wayside diner beckons me.
Apple trees shade the walk,
bees buzz round fallen overripe fruit.
I don’t even lock the car doors.
Inside, large cheerful sunflowers
sit in vases on oilcloth covered tables.
Sheila sashays over with a pleasant hello,
sets down a chipped porcelain cup.
She pours in dark rich coffee right to the brim.
“What’ll ya have? Got fresh melon off the vine
and cinnamon buns are good today.”
Her nametag is printed in thick magic marker.
I sigh and nod my head. No words needed.
She saunters back somewhere, to the kitchen?
No matter. I just sit,
run my finger slowly round the coffee mug’s lip.
I stare out the window. Contemplate nothing.
No deadlines hurtling at me.
I’m in an internet dead zone.
I may just sit here until dinner time.
Placemat menu lists pot roast.
Sounds good to me.
Written for day 3 of NaPoWriMo. Today we are to create a Personal Universal Deck, an idea originated by the poet and playwright Michael McClure. He gave the project of creating such a deck to his students in a 1976 lecture at Naropa University. The idea is to take 50 index cards or pieces of paper and write words on each side of the card *so 2 words to a card; one on the front and one on the back; 100 words in total. The following instructions are given for the words: Divide 80 of the 100 words evenly among SIGHT, SOUND, TASTE, TOUCH AND SMELL, sixteen each. Also include 10 words of movement, at least one body part, and one abstraction (such as peace, patriotism, etc). Then, shuffle the cards and pick out at random, a number of cards. Lay them down and you will see the words looking at you. Create your poem using those words. The cards can be reshuffled and used many times….each time drawing out a number of cards from which to create your poem. You choose how many. I thought the title “Swapping Decks” went with the sense of the poem and also refers to the Personal Universal Deck I created for this prompt.
I picked out these words: blaring horn, cinnamon, buzz, sweat, sigh, sun flowers, and melon! These words were among the 100 that I wrote down on the cards, using the front and backs of the cards as instructed. An interesting exercise! I’m tempted to pull out the “deck of word cards” I’ve created, and use them again, drawing out cards at random, placing them on the table so one word on each is displayed (no fair turning the card over and choosing to use the other word!) and writing more poems from them. In a way, it’s like “found poetry”.
It worked very well and I can see myself doing something similar (to what you describe in your poem) next month. I can’t wait!
Interesting process, Lillian! At first, I thought you misspelled title of a pirate poem…swabbing the decks!! Aarrrgh!