Friday, May 21, 2010


Pizza. Or perhaps
pizzicato. A place,
(piazza), a pie, a bit
of percussive play.
Purse your lips,
and push the air out:
poof. Like that.
What does that feel
like? Not like love,
not like languor.
More like impatience,
like petulance, like
disdain. Pfff. Yeah,
right. As if. Give
me a break.

Then what? We're still
here. Waiting. Like
a play, right? This is
the first speech.
A soliloquy. Perhaps.
An overture. A prelude.
To what we are waiting
for. The purpose. The
point. The purported
punch line. But

suppose there is no
payoff. Suppose it
simply is what it is.
Like life. Like waking
up every day and thinking,
maybe today it will all
become clear. When I
asked my mom, way back
when, for a palomino,
she said, "When my ship
comes in." She said,
"When I win the Irish
Sweepstakes." She said,
"Maybe someday."

I thought a lot about
that ship. I wondered
where on the ocean
it might be, how soon
it might come sailing
into port. How little
I knew of metaphor.
How much I've learned:
Pffft. Yeah right.
As if.

Process Reflection:

It's been a long time now since I just sat down to play with words. I seem to have become burdened with the self-imposed expectation that I ought to have something to say. That's as sure a road to writer's block as I know. Today I stopped in for a few minutes to visit with Tim's Writer's Club, and since it was there last meeting of the year they had pizza. Maybe because that seed had been planted in my mind, I felt like writing tonight.

I needed a place to begin. So I began with that: pizza. The word, the sound, the feel of the syllables. I just started playing with it, pushing it. After the first four lines I had a sense of the emerging structure and the possibilities posed by the syllables. (As you can hear, once you go down that road it's hard to turn off it.) Then I just tried to follow the thoughts that the syllables pushed up at me. Funny that my mom showed up. Not for the first time, of course.

Funny too: I did get that palomino, some years later. Two actually. I rode them for two years. Between the two of them they about killed my dream of horses. Be careful what you wish for.


George said...

Great poem, Bruce. Can I use it in class?

Bruce Schauble said...

Feel free. I don't expect it to be making me any money any time soon anyway. :)

George said...

...thanks, Boss.