April 16, 2015

Constellations in the Coffee

Today is Thursday again, the mad rush of class after class and homework during my one hour break. But today we paraded through campus in a single file line and wrote Japanese poetry during my Creative Writing class and the sunshine felt so beautiful.

In Japanese class I had to hold my eyelids open, but I only missed one word on the quiz and someday I will write those Japanese poems in Japanese. In the Literary Magazine class we reviewed art instead of poetry, and the change of pace was nice, as well as the enjoyment of getting to look at pictures instead of straining my eyes over more words.

Then I went to a poetry reading. (I feel like, outside of  class, I spend the vast majority of my college time attending writing-related events.) Anyway, this one wasn't student reading. Nancy Means Wright came and read some of her poetry as well as a retiring Champlain professor and Jim Ellefson, my academic adviser, favorite professor and old man mentor, even if he isn't fully aware of this last part yet. All three poets were fantastic, much better than the previous two non-student readings I'd attended.

Anyway, the whole reading made me happy, and kind of wishful, and hopeful, scared about the future? I'm not really sure, but there was a lot of emotion and a reminder of why I'm here in Vermont of all places and why I know that no matter what else in life, I want to write. I was going to post one of my Japanese poems but this one came out after the reading and I like it more. So here it is, enjoy.

Constellations in the Coffee

The lamp makes constellations in my coffee cup
and my heart feels like an astronaut;
my ribs are too tight.
I stir the coffee faster,
as if I might find answers there
but this time all I see is a wooden stick
and I imagine how the splinters must feel.
I hear the poems I want to write
and my novels cry "betrayed,"
but the longing keeps my space-ship body spinning
and I know earth is too far gone.
No matter where I look
my eyes find constellations.

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