Power Poetry, unPedantic
Two women, cup washers at Starbucks
discuss the patriarchy and the progress of
equal rights; they talk about Washington D.C.
“Cup washers? Is that what he said?”
“Who’s writing this poem? Leave him alone!”
“But there’s no cup washing at Starbucks.”
“What did I tell you?”
Blanche has blue hair
Mabel has red hair
forever; out of a bottle,
the color called: Frivolous Fawn.
But this conversation is not
frivolous. The OPEN/CLOSED sign
on the front door is twisted
CLOSED facing out, but will twist
around in 15 minutes. So, quickly
they get to the point.
“I’ll say this for Hollywood,” Blanche revs up,
“more social change is coming from there than
that lame damn Washington!”
“I agree,” Mabel purrs her engine alongside Blanche,
“I couldn’t believe they had that Ellen
woman in charge of the Oscars last night. A woman,
and a gay one, too!”
“Yeah!” Blanche’s voice takes off from a high branch,
“and how many more centuries before that might happen
“Those Washington fuckers!” yells Mabel,
her voice bouncing across the room and off the OPEN
side of the sign; the manager of Starbucks
looks at Mabel, then at his watch.
“Hey, that’s a little rough, easy Mabel,” calms Blanche.
“Well look: why are we even talking about all this
with only 13 minutes until we open?” asks Mabel.
“Because this poet, out there in his car with his laptop
waiting for us to open, wants a poem about it,
but anecdotal style, not direct and obvious,
and certainly not unpoetically rough like you just were.”
“So we’re his anecdote, are we?”
“Yes, and we have to give this back to him now,
for his casual, lifelike, non-pedantic delicacy.”
“Oh for Christ’s sake, and there - another man - ok!
Are they in charge of everything?”
“Shhh, Mabel ... let him work.”
The two women leave off with their cup washing, they
become reflective and interior, each inside their own thoughts,
and a coffee-colored light casts a pallor over the coffee parlor,
“Ok Mabel, never mind, let’s take it back ... now,
what were you saying about those Washington fuckers?”