earlier in june, my traveling poetry class ventured to kutztown to check out the newly opened HIVE, a café supported meal ingredient-wise by local farmers and food producers, including from the land of the eatery's owners. finding farm-supported café poems for some of our inspiration, besides the scenery around us, was not easy. so we read a café poem and then a farm poem. and then we worked on making our own new, combined versions.
here are some eye-scenes from the visit, followed by a student's poem.
[Closed Caption Café]
By Sam Traten
[Bottle knocked off table, crashing sound --chatter nearby]
Overheard from an adjacent group, “She never liked me, said I was too forward.
“I’m friendly with everybody. Like, what’s she mean? Her
Boyfriend? So I changed my roommate to Alexa.” [Loudly]
[Café radio blares alternative music]
Our group strains to hear our spoken poems
read aloud in hushed tones, with as much expression
as conditions allow. Some words lost or misheard.
Confusion. [Outside a delivery van revs up]
But, look, our well-made lunch dishes arrive
and are expertly placed on the tall table.
Delicious! Small annoyances are swept away.
A new patron arrives and sits closely nearby.
(All tables are nearby)
Alone, she closely focuses on her laptop,
Perhaps working on a college class paper.
Pretends, or genuinely through concentration,
not to hear our offer of sauces from our table.
[More undecipherable chatter]
Were it not for the general exclamations of
“What?” “Would you repeat that?” “I’m sorry”
I would have felt my age has now moved me on to hearing impaired.
[Cash register rings. Chairs shuffle, footsteps to door, door opens, shuts]
Today’s horoscope reads: You don't expect people to be what they are not. Everyone is quirky. You
realize this and act accordingly.
[Cafes can be quirky, too. No matter]