MAP 82

This week's theme: Coffee Tribute: Happiness is just a thing called Joe.

(with a last minute arrival for Memorial Day theme)

Upcoming Themes

Issue 83: Second Generation: Poetry by the Children of Poets

Issue 84: Basketball Diaries: Poetry about hoops, the sports

Thanks to all who have generously permitted me to publish your works in the MAP.

1. From Chuck Rice of Coral Springs, Florida

Wednesdays At DONUTS PLUS+

Regulars at the donut shop,

we park our lives outside

and meet each week

to share with friends dear,

claiming territorial rights

to certain tables,

the security of routine,

sanctuary in a changing world.

We lean on the cheap formica

and stare out smudged windows

that detach us and separate us

from the world, from each other.

This is our way station

in the cosmic shuffle of life

where fears are aired,

problems shared, doors opened,

bonds made and broken

as we sip our coffee,

pondering the mysteries

and chewing the fat of life,

safe behind our windows.

What might your pleasure be?

Is it, perhaps, a glazed

donut, a lot of sugar coated

puffed up nothing

going in a circle

with an empty hole

as its center, or

is it a full-bodied treat

with a rich, filled center?

From empty booths

the sick addiction of media

stares out, dead-faced

from the pages of scattered

newspapers, wars and rumors

of war. Across the counter,

as if on some schedule,

a lone regular suddenly leaves.

A old bearded vagabond,

he appears a homeless, hatless,

disheveled Lincoln.

Once outside,

he frees the crumbs

in his hand

across the sunshine.

The insiders look on,

look down

through the smudged

windows, as though

they were someone.

With one sweep of his arm,

he writes poems across the air

as he feeds the pigeons.

Behind us,

one of the waitresses,

a crusty old broad,

refuting brotherly admonishing,

remarks to her roguish men friends

in defense of her solitude,

Hell, there’s only one thing

that I need a man for,

to open stuck windows.”

by Charles David Rice

2. Jimmy Jazz sent me this one all the way from San Diego

Espresso ex machina

the ghost in the machine

is caffeine

by Jimmy Jazz

3. Larry Jaffe of L.A. wrote a whole "He/She Java" series, with deference to e.e.cummings. Here is one. All nine episodes are at

episode 2

he drank his coffee bitter

she drank her coffee like wine

he drank it black

she drank hers iced

he took a healthy swig

she sipped lady like

he drank in her eyes

she read his memoirs

he smiled speculatively

she smiled softly

he wished she was naked

she wished he would think to himself

he grinned lasciviously

she frowned posthumously

he handed her a line

she handed him the check

© 1998 lgjaffe

4. And last, but certainly not least, a Memorial Day poem from that Poet Anonymous Sam Hurst from Springfield, Virginia. Last week's theme was "Memorial Day" but whaddaya know today is Memorial Day. The following poem is not intended for the squeamish or namby-pamby.


"I don't want to die without shoes on!"

He shouted at me

tears streaming down his face.

"My father died in the fields man!

He had no god-damned shoes on.

I can still see his feet

all cracked, dried, and split open.

The damned overseer walked past like he was shit.

Without shoes there ain't no fucking dignity, man!"

The pungent smoke burned my eyes

as I ran about like a maniac.

"Alright, alright --- God almighty, I'm looking!"

I shouted, but the voice was only a whisper.

I looked, I looked, Lord did I look!

It wasn't long, but seemed --- an eternity,

before I found them.

Oddly, they had landed close together

when blown off

by that damned land mine.

I took off my shoes

and put them on his

mangled and severed feet.

We held each other, crying,

until he died --- with dignity.

© Sam Hurst, the Man in the Black Hat