paul handley

Commuter Talk

I choose to believe the whole bean
lounging in the ground coffee is good luck.
I pinch it out like a pearl
from vulcanized oyster meat.
Flick off two tenacious grains and
cheek bag it for a chaw.

I decide to quit my job on the way
to rapid transit, where I mingle
in the bouillabaisse of shoes stepped in phlegm,
urine soaked seats, and playboy cologne,
which I prefer to the drive
of jockeys attempting to bend traffic-flow
to their will.

Unmonitored gulps of caffeine pushing
brains into an aerodynamic crouch.
Inhibitors seize up. Tumbling overboard
into the blowback, trailing from the slenderest
of ribbons like tin cans on a wedding car.

A marketer’s gimme,
due to the stretched buzz and measured dose.
A perfect blend of chew and coffee,
that appeals to both rural and urban addicts.
No spitting or jaw cancer. Lasts like a jaw breaker,
and creates bean shaped dimples,
like a tattoo, to identity your kind.

I couldn’t help but notice….

Lost Comfort Zone

She said, “it’s cool” as if a foreign phrase,
taking it out for a trial spin. She swallowed,
savoring the aftertaste. It was all good. That
third attempt at beer, coffee, oysters, cigars.

Most of us at in the fenced backyard
watched this test at a distance, not even
laying a palm on the aquarium glass.
Mira was visibly agitated, but that didn’t take much.
We moved on.

Paul Handley has a full length collection of poetry entitled 5-Tool Poet from Punkin House Press and had a short play performed entitled Best Son at Pulp Diction in Portland, Oregon in January 2012.

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