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CoffeeIsARiver


I have a plan for today.
After I pour the morning coffee
into our ceramic riverbeds,
we'll jump into a boat
and follow the river's current
away from this place.
Past bus stops and aging buildings,
buildings that isolate us
from everything that lives.

The river will find the open ocean
and lead us to her home
(Which, according to the coffee container,
is either Indonesia or Eastern India).
I hope its India.
When our boat arrives
an elephant will scoop us up
and cradle us in his living trunk.

He'll take us to a palace made golden
from centuries of emulating the Sun.
He will escort us to a room
full of silken pillows and sweet patchouli.
Mythological men with blue skin
will serve us curried fish
seasoned with paanch phoran,
while we read the Bhagavad-Gita for the first time.


James H. Fowles works a 9 to 5 that he likes well-enough. He secretly dreams, however, of writing professionally
and / or teaching English. He loves reading. He kind of gets frustrated when his wife wants to skip the reading and go
straight to sleeping. You can follow him on Twitter @jayfowles.
 
 




If Prose and Poetry every battled in a fight-to-the-death cage match for my affection, Prose would win (but until that happens, I will happily enjoy both). For me, literature is most powerful when a strong narrative compels me to keep on reading. However, my favorite authors create beautiful stories by focusing on imagery and place (something poetry can do very well). Two examples that come to mind: Steinbeck's California and Wendell Berry's Kentucky farmland. So the poetry I write tends to focus on imagery, but usually has a narrative thread.
 
My inspiration for "Coffee is a River," not surprisingly, was my daily morning routine of making coffee. As I poured the coffee into my mug, I thought, "Hey, that sounds like a trickling river," and just went from there. I quite enjoyed the process of writing this one. It was a fun mental journey, beginning in my kitchen and ending in India (a fairy-tale version, to be sure).
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