Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Bookstores, Cafes, and Chaos
Fragments of the world appear:
a blue-white streetlight hovers near;
a shifting, sandaled foot scuffs oiled wood;
the scent of tea and black caffeine
corrupts the air like unseen fog.
Blind people flip through Vonnegut
and architecture magazines. I laugh.
In such a place where people find
simplicity in ordered words,
the sheer verbosity in all those books
came from a pool of ink
that really isn't big at all.
That is, unless you consider that ink it is,
then it's a lot.
Added to that, varieties of addictive beverages,
of reading styles and friendly conversations,
and all should make this place, in fact,
the anarchist's nightmare,
the church chaos gets headaches in.

Justin Chadbourn
Copyright ©2005 Justin Chadbourn (poetry.com)

Chadbourn takes the simplicity of an everyday establishment in our lives today and embellishes it. In this poem he takes a more in-depth look at the world of coffeehouses and bookstores, which generally come as a pair these days. He starts out with a strong sense of the setting of a café, hitting each of the senses in turn: sight, sound, touch, and smell. The coffeehouse has become a sort of oasis for people today, an easy way to readily escape the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. But along with that escape it has become it’s own world within itself; there is a sense of conformity in which everyone reads that same books and magazines and tries to read into the printed word. It’s definitely the kind of poem one needs to read more than once.


Blogger Naseem said...

I agree that the speaker uses a strong sense of imaging. This poem makes me feel like I am really there at the coffee house because it is so similar in description to a starbucks. I can also picture this poem being the description of an introduction of a really artsy movie

11:23 PM  

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