Friday, January 5, 2018

Identity Crisis, Not the Dregs

Identity Crisis

I’m growing my hair long again,
because I’m a beatnik.
I’m a hippie.

I’m going to be late for work.
I have a meeting.

I’m smoking pot
and playing jazz
on my roller-disco boom box.

I am writing poetry,
instead of brushing my teeth.

I’m wearing all black.
I have a soul patch
and dark sunglasses.

My coffee is getting cold.
My dress socks don’t match.

I am wearing tie-dye
and twisting daisies into dreadlocks.
I wear bell-bottom blue jeans.

I have lost my monkey suit.
I have lost my monkey.

I’m a steampunk unicorn.
I’m a hipster butterfly.


Not the Dregs

I scrape the bottom of the barrel,
after the top-shelf choices are gone,
to get to the sweet stuff—
            not the dregs, the molasses.

And umami—
            the oh-so savory leftovers
scavenged from midlife’s
3 a.m. breakfast buffet.

Even the salty crumbs
at the bottom of the potato chip bag
set saliva aflutter,
            à la Pavlov’s K9.

The good stuff separates
and falls like flakes of pure gold
in a San Francisco saloon—
the debris, the essence.


I am pleased that "Identity Crisis" and "Not the Dregs" are published in the Fall 2017 Issue (#31) of Poetry QuarterlyThis is my second sojourn with PQ. My poem "No Longer" was in the 2012 Prize Winner Issue (#11).