In Praise of Joe by Marge Piercy

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

, Marge Piercy tells us that although coffee is disgusting at times, she can’t function without it. She starts by talking about how she prefers it hot but will drink it iced, tepid, or rancid from a vending machine if necessary.

She compares its blackness to that of bark from an apple tree or swamp water, perceiving its richness as that of tannin, a substance of plant origin used for tanning and in medicine. The scent of coffee, rising like steam, kicks her brain into gear.

She talks about drinking it in coffee bars or out of thermoses or in cars or stadiums or on a beach, explaining how it goes off in her head like a siren in the morning and radiates throughout her body. It doesn’t matter whether it’s latte or cappuccino. Coffee keeps her moving.

She explains what her life would be like without it. She wouldn’t be able to get up in the morning. She would continually press the snooze button and creep through her days. Coffee stimulates her speech and makes her feel human every day. In her last line, she emphasizes the idea that the inky blackness of coffee fuels her writing.

 

Note: Because of copyright concerns, I cannot post this poem here. You can read it on Your Daily Poem.

 

Your Turn

 

I triple dog dare you to take some time to explicate your favorite poem the way I did above. Read the poem a time or two and write down what you see, hear, smell, taste and feel. Like a detective, gather facts. Then compile your ideas into a cohesive review. If you do this on your own blog, please leave a pingback here so I can read it. Good luck. Thanks to Lynda McKinney Lambert and dandeliondiadem for inspiring this.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

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Running Through the Sprinkler (Poetry)

The following poem was recently published in The Weekly Avocet. This is a haibun, a poetry form that combines a paragraph of prose with a stanza of haiku. You can click the link below to hear me read it.

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running through the sprinkler.mp3

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RUNNING THROUGH THE SPRINKLER

I stand on the sidewalk, a jet of cold water in front of me, my impaired eyes unable to find a way around it, as cars whoosh by on the busy street. The ninety-degree sun beats down. A tepid breeze caresses my face. I remember how fun it was to run through the sprinkler as a kid. Why not, I think. With a hearty “Yahoo!” I dash into the water’s inviting coolness.

a hot summer day
cold water sweeps over me
I’m a child again

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What did you do to cool off in the summer when you were a kid?

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Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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Heat Wave

It’s hot all over the country. Even in Wyoming, temperatures are climbing into the triple digits. I recently read in the newspaper that they’re predicted to be above normal for the next few months.

I’m reminded of the summer of 2012, one of the hottest on record, my husband Bill’s last year. A conversation I had with my homemaker during that time inspired me to write the following poem. I posted it here a couple of years ago, but I think it’s worth re-visiting. Click this link to hear me read it.

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TERESA’S FORCAST

 

“It’s going to be hot forever,”

she says on a sweltering July day.

“seventy-six degrees in San Diego,

a hundred and six here. Maybe by Thanksgiving,

you’ll be able to cook your turkey indoors,

but the climate’s getting warmer.”

 

“Not in Wyoming–She’s full of it,” I tell myself.

“Take what she says with a grain of salt.”

 

As she leaves, she says,

“It’s a hundred degrees. Don’t go out.”

 

“You probably shouldn’t be out, either,” I say.

“Why don’t you stay?”

She snickers–the kitchen door slams.

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This conversation is outlined in my new memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. It’s now available in print and Kindle through Createspace and Amazon and in various eBook formats from Smashwords. You’ll find links to where you can order from these sources at the book’s page on my site. I recommend curling up under a ceiling fan or in front of your air conditioner with this book.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds