From Whence, Fragment?

I Like My Coffee

I like my coffee black as ink

And hot as hell, and soft as mink

I like my coffee strong as oak

And bright as flame, and thick as smoke

Its fragrance a beguiling mix

Of bed-of-nails and ton-of-bricks

As rich as sin, as tough as mud

I like my coffee red as blood

My coffee’s brewed from secret beans

Replete with countless rare caffeines

My coffee’s grown by men in yurts

In distant lands’ most loamy dirts

It’s washed in moonlit mountain pools

And roasted slow by screaming ghouls

And ground with care and poured with pride

My coffee’s made so fresh I died

The coffee that my coffee likes

Doth wrack the sky with lightning strikes

The coffee that my coffee craves

Hath teemed the sea with tidal waves

Thou knowest why the rivers burned

The forests fled, the plagues returned

The planets dimmed, the cities sank —

The coffee that my coffee drank

I like my coffee long as time

And mean as muck, and sweet as slime

I like my coffee cold as land

And bare as rock, and mute as sand

Its taste a subtle paraphrase

Of dead-of-night and end-of-days

As blind as ash, as blank as air

I like my coffee white as hair

In Case You Missed It

In case you missed it, never fear:

I wrote a thing you’ll find right here.

But doubly miss it, have no doubt

By missing it … you’re missing out!

In case you missed it, be aware:

That thing I wrote is all still there.

Again you missed the thing I wrote?

You cannot miss you missed the boat!

In case you missed it, I’m the worst.

My things I share with shameless thirst.

It’s time I must insist I face

You missed it’s never NOT the case!

In case you missed it, never mind.

To tell you more I’m disinclined.

The things I write do not exist!

In any case they won’t be missed.

Eine Kleine Esa-Pekka

I must confess that lately I have fallen-in

To swooning over Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Conductor and composer and artiste.

Makes other maestros wish they were deceased.

Now Alsop’s such a genius with a score

Her Rite’ll leave you sobbing on the floor;

And corazones melt for Gus the Dude,

Whose Ludwig’s always lush and well-shampooed;

And oh so hard does Rattle shake and roll,

His Planets will profoundly tilt your pole;

And Alan G. can truly hit the spot

With tender touches on your Turandot;

And how the mighty Mikey Tilson Toms

Gets bloomers drippin’ when he’s droppin’ Brahms!

No question, all those cats can sure conduct.

But next to Esa-Pekka, they are fucked.

Of course, I cannot say I’ve heard

His records or his shows.

Not the concerts he’s conducted,

Nor the works he did compose.

I’ve never heard his music,

But I love him just the same.

For my heart leaps up in rapture at

The music of his name.


He’s such a bad-ass muthafecka!

His name’s a train upon a track!

A chopping block! A thundercrack!


It may be rude, but what the hecka!

His name’s a froggy mating call!

A piston pump! A bouncy ball!

A squeaking cork! A scratching cat!

A frying pan of bacon fat!

A roaring hearth! A racing horse!

A secret agent’s frantic Morse!

A marching corps! A muscle car!

It ain’t no standard repertoire!

It’s sibilants and voiceless stops!

It’s snaps and crackles! Later, Pops!


He’s serious as a heart attecka!

His name’s a skipping phonograph!

A clanking chain! A smoker’s laugh!


He’s bumping like a discotheque-a!

His name’s a sonic masterpiece!

It blows the Für right off Elise!

Arranged for something xylophoney,

It might resemble Reich-a-roni!

With organ backing (LORDY BLESS!),

It might just pass for Ollie Mess!

If belted on a Broadway stage,

It might be Cats as sprung from Cage!

Repeated for an hour or three,

It might be Glass as sung by Glee!


It’s all I hablo, parle, and spreche-a!

To country hick or city slecka!

To Mrs. Right or marriage-wrecka!

In Mission Hills or holy Mecca!

In trailer park or posh Tribeca!

I don’t mean any disrespek-a,

But break me off a double-decka

Eine kleine

Hunka hunka





His name may well be super-commonplace

In Finland and in furthest outer space,

But I’ll forever hear it as, I hope,

An onomatopoeic magnum ope.