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Cafe Life
Photo by Jory Post

Originally conceived as “local color” pieces for a column in the Santa Cruz Weekly, these hybrid prosems have evolved into a work in progress examining the author’s relation to certain places and attempting to evoke life lived “on location,” in the moment, and in the swirl of sensory perception, language and consciousness.

Café Life

In the cool of the afternoon I am tapping my laptop among the other typists in this caffeinated oasis, the music not too painfully loud though even at this volume the techno-beat is tough on any intelligence, and my head is barely buzzed by the aroma of fresh espresso.   The very sight of all these youths engaged with their tools suggests a human community and makes my aged analogous body feel more virtually alive, almost contemporary, ever present despite a sense of advancing obsolescence.  Living is an act of imagination; the older you are, the more you have to imagine.  Everything takes time, and time takes everything, and so you have to pay closer attention in order to retain in your mind’s eye the Mohawk on the otherwise lovely head of the young barista whom you once happen to have picked up hitching a ride from campus, where you had been using the library, downtown to this very café where she was late for work.  You must register and remember as much as you can because you are not Funes, plagued by the inability to forget, but rather an absentminded Romantic so busy being attuned to Beauty that you may neglect to notice the merely beautiful with which so many streets and rooms are subtly brimming.  Even young men are beginning to get to me, physical echoes of a kind of music I can scarcely make anymore, or am I an echo of theirs, their keyboards clicking out code for scores of symphonic compositions of which they are unconscious because they are not the composers but the song.  Under the thudding metronomic pulse the hearts of the clientele are also thumping, their blood pumping happily through elastic capillaries without their even being aware.  I admire the room’s clean lines and airy light and intelligent design with negative space to spare and therefore plenty of room for emptiness and nothingness to circulate.  The customer lifting a foamy cappuccino off the counter and turning slowly in search of a seat might as well be Isadora Duncan, so easy she makes it look to embody grace.

Scratch Pegasus || Poems of Consummation || Street Signs || Confessions of a Heteroformalist || The Redwood Coast Review || The Mental Traveler || More About SK || Readings

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