Sunday, April 5, 2015

Day 5: Time Out


Time Out

I sit in my car a moment,
inhale, and climb out;
the phone rests on the seat.

I order coffee and sit
on a faux wood stool,
under floating Brubeck.

Two minutes in I feel
the phantom buzz,
touch an empty pocket.

I drum my fingers;
random rolls soon
fall in line with music,

tap in rhythm to
sax and drums and
clipped conversations,

find the pulse of the place,
the beat and syncopations,
the notes and silence

till I drain my cup,
slip from the chair,
return to life


Music matters a great deal to me, both in my own internal soundtrack and in the ways I think of poetry.  Nowhere is the music of language laid so bare as in poetry.  This poem seeks to find and display that, in the context of a brief departure from my work life, as symbolized by the iPhone that tethers me to it.

The stanzas are intentionally short, trying to squeeze impact from every word.  My goal was to reflect the time out not as merely an escape from something, but an escape into something to which I can connect.  In that sense, the poem is influenced by transcendentalists like Emerson and Thoreau.

One grammatical deviation is my lack of end punctuation to conclude the poem, symbolizing a return without a hard break between the interlude and "real life."  This may or may not endure through the editing phase later.


  1. Should have been in "DECLARATIONS" [singular or plural?]

  2. It would certainly have fit inside Declaration, Dory!

  3. I love finding the "pulse of the place." I also appreciate the initial difficulty of cutting off...leaving the limb-extension phone...taking a moment