Everett Poetry Darling Performs Mende Smith Poem


“The every day begins
where the writing day ends.”

-H. Miller

Turn the yellow key
in the metal door
and go in

the bergamot-scented
room where the clock
chatters and the light bends
silver and pallor divide
in between the blinds and
the knot of the afternoon sun.

Drop the bag
on the floor and slip out
of those shoes

His rooms are empty
ceramic and stone
and glass and water
moths hidden in
dark and damp
safe behind doors

Twist-off cap on the bottle
and the safety ring snap
echoes off the sink

The after-five ride
is over and the ice
is too-soon melting
in a short, clear glass.

Pour out the Bourbon slow,
just top off the ice and
the bubbles

The mouthful’d chill
rises to the occasion
of a writing life,
and she thinks it
tastes like Hemingway’s
kiss, Joyce’s mocking jay
Jack-a-daw grin,
and Miller’s libations.


The only color
inside seems to froth
in the afterglow
of a whole other week
gone to whiskey
and soda