30 July 2002

Most people don't know that I occasionally write poetry. It's not great poetry, but I sometimes like to tinker around with words, their ambiguities and varying shades of meaning, how sounds come together and play off of one another. Philosophy and poetry are probably not all that different. In fact, I recently commented to Aaron Belz that I suspected that all good philosophy is really a kind of poetry--after he had just turned my comments on "fiveness" below into a poem.

In any case, here's a poem I wrote a couple of years ago and of which I was reminded while getting a quick bite in a local diner earlier today:Fix

no sooner
than the half-empty
bottomless cup again
returns to the ringed counter,
do my 3am eyes
trace her tightly
uniformed curves
reflected within formica--
and the burnt stale
odor steams up
once more

I sip caffeine to stall
that stabbing ache
that's never really gone
and glance up around
the all-night diner--
stainless steel retro
like adam west
back in some kitschy
neon eden

the dingy busboy
somehow can show teeth,
a smiling minister
to filthy flatware,
even as that patron
eyes him with a
crucifying gaze

on her cigarette break
leaves of the
unread Times
fall from my lap
and I swill down to the
bitter grounds
as I perceive faintly,
"Take that, sir?"
and offer him
the emptiness of my cup