Ode to the book, 2011

I sent the electronic books into slumber,
closed up the laptop.
I went down to the street,
wet and running with slush from
yesterday’s snow and this winter’s ice limning my jeans,
soaking my socks.
I should have worn rainboots but once I was out,
I’d be damned if I was going to turn back.
The getting out, once accomplished,
can’t be gainsaid.

The little cafe isn’t open on Mondays
but the diner, the diner– it is.
The songs of short-order,
of sausage and American cheese,
griddle-fried English muffins and the “hey, mans”
of bus and train drivers coming in from the sleet.
They order their usual, BLTs and corned beef hash
and always extra mayo, ketchup, hot sauce.
Various condiments, spice of life.

It’s not always about organic bacon,
local-sourced chevre.
Sometimes it’s puffy down jackets,
framed sports posters on walls,
formica counters,
patois and patter,
the fry cook telling the owner about how her daughter,
“Oh my god, she’s so precious,
she wanted a Shirley Temple for her birthday,
and I didn’t have grenadine,
only cranberry juice.  I’m glad she’s too young
to know better.”
And he laughs and pours her a coffee,
tips his baseball cap, then lifts the chipped baby blue gate
and comes to pour me more joe.

The guys at the next table
are a different kind of news feed,
I don’t have to click them to follow
whatever they’re doing.
I learned about life from books,
wrote about it in notebooks and netbooks,
read more about it online and in line on whatever paper was handy,
now click or swipe to the next page in my e-reader too.
I’ll devour whatever type of story there is.
There’s always a new one to be told, too–
if first and sometimes I remember.
Close up the laptop.
It’s okay to get your feet wet.

(Apologies to Pablo Neruda.)

Unrelated note: I do have things going on, they’re just kind of private and not to be blogged about, and also taking up a lot of my attention that might otherwise be spent writing here.  But things are okay.  Thank you to those who have asked.


2 thoughts on “Ode to the book, 2011

  1. CTJen

    I want to go to this diner. It’s like a diner in the past. It’s a time traveling diner.

    Also, I’m glad you’re OK. I figured you were busy with non-bloggable stuff and that you would poke your head in here when you were able. 🙂


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