07 January, 2021

A Poem Possibly Kind of Inspired (in Part) by J. Alfred Prufrock's "I Have Measured My Life in Coffee Spoons"

[This poem was originally published in J Journal: New Writing on Justice, Volume 8, Number 2, published in the Fall of 2015.]

The Best Part of Waking Up

Some day I'll get bored
and tally up the exact weight and volume
of the freeze-dried coffee I've drunk during
my years' imprisonment:

the same stained plastic mug
every morning identical
for a decade and a half.

A packet of sugar crinkles in the dark.
Almost no light slips through
the cell's lone window. A slightly heaped
plastic sporkful of Folgers
dumped, dissolves.

* * * * *

I started and finished "The Best Part of Waking Up" in a single sitting – one of those poems that practically wrote itself. Even today it reads, to me, like someone else's work. Of course, I'm not delusional; intellectually, I know it's mine. That's why I'm asserting my post-publication rights now, putting it out into the world again.

2015 was a while ago. I still drink from the same red-lipped white mug; although, I don't put sugar in my coffee anymore. We can also add five years to the poem's "decade and a half." Otherwise, plus ça change plus c'est la même chose.

1 comment:

  1. I like it. Don't really get how people can drink coffee though...without sugar is even more baffling :)


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