The Bold (and French Roast) Now


The Bold (And French Roast) Now

My cup
runneth over.
For just when I should grab and sip,
blips, fazes
against the machine, leans
into pre-occupied
scenes, grinding all its be’s
and not-
to-be’s, while the
beans stream blacklit
beams, a splash
lashing me like Ulysses
(of old) to the
mast of the bold
(and french roast)
insisting against my sirens (“sleep”) that I
drink deep
until I–


I am posting the above poem for a dVerse Poets’ Pub meeting the bar challenge hosted by Victoria C. Slotto that focuses on “steampunk” (mixing up disparate things) and enjambment (basically the poetic science of run-over lines.)   (Steampunk is still a bit foreign to me, but enjambment is an endlessly interesting subject I think.)  A fascinating prompt. 

And I, by the way, am primarily a tea drinker. 

Check out all the great poets at dVerse and if you’ve got time, my books!   Poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, (by Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Diana Barco). 1 Mississippi -counting book for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms, or Nose Dive. Nose Dive is available on Kindle for just 99 cents! Nose Dive really is very funny and light hearted, and 1 Mississippi is a lot of fun for little teeny kids.

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28 Comments on “The Bold (and French Roast) Now”

  1. gardenlilie Says:

    Great! Even though you got Ulysses, whom dare I say this out loud, I don’t know and the roast yes bold for sure I do know. 🙂 Good job, excellent.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks! The story has Ulysses tying himself to the mast of a ship so he won’t jump off it to swim with the sirens who are singing to him seductively! Thanks much for your kind comment. k.

  2. ulysses, (shakespeare….) and you and the cup runneth over…ha…i prefer italian roast ya know…grinding all its be’s
    and not-
    to-be’s….thanks for the smile k. – and really…i want a coffe now…smiles

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      You know I don’t really drink coffee enough any more to know the difference between french and Italian roast but I probably prefer Italian roast too if that means espresso! Thanks. k.

  3. hedgewitch Says:

    You made your poem sound like a coffee machine. I’m impressed–and plus, lots of excellent word play and allusion with the alliteration. Really some great enjambment, but that is one of your strong suits so no surprise. (Steampunk for me is actually more about a dystopian fantasy world where medieval tropes coexist with Victorian technology–ie, people carry swords *and* muskets. and there are usually some intrepid females running around in chain link bikini armor.) Loved the grind, and the blend, k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Oh, thanks. I had not heard it before and the sonnets had exactly that feel that you write of, but I didn’t really have an opportunity to research, and am not sure I could do that – unless maybe the bikinis could also be fur-lined! Ha. That might make it all possible for me somehow. Thanks. k.

  4. This was so much fun! I particularly enjoyed the reference to the mast lashing, one of my favorite parts. Though now I want some coffee which is clearly a bad idea :).

  5. kkkkaty Says:

    …love how this poem really percolated…for we coffee lovers it is especially apt…

  6. Sabio Lantz Says:

    I am glad you confessed your cheap move of writing about coffee (the favorite of the masses – of poets) rather than tea — selling your soul for readers !! 🙂 Indeed, tea would not have worked.

    I loved this. My mind instantly read it as RAP — with the beat and sounds going competitively strong — you ought to consider doin’ on stage with some homies!

  7. Really like the way this flows, the rhythm and the playful “oops” near the end! Made me smile.

  8. ~ smiles ~ loving your coffee poetry

  9. kaykuala Says:

    Am neither a tea nor a coffee drinker but your cup.runneth all, K. Nicely!


  10. David King Says:

    Fine poem, really putting the enjambment to work. A masterclass in how to!

  11. brian miller Says:

    hahaha…lash me to the bold as well….and make it black, no cream or sugar….it def gets my lights on in the morning….and coffee poetry ah, i can just smell it….lol…runneth over my cup….smiles.

  12. Mary Says:

    Ha, one would never guess from this coffee-driven poem that you were really a tea drinker. I like the idea of drinking deeply until you sleep. (Coffee drinking has never affected my sleep.)

  13. Yes for this to be steampunk, the ‘modern’ art of grinding and brewing coffee would have been done by steam engine or goat pulley,

  14. festivalking Says:

    Okay I think I’m getting a hang of enjambment and loving the way you use it dear 🙂

    Nice work!

  15. janehewey Says:

    this is a terrific read-aloud…once again. your sounds and loose form marry splendidly. Do the words come into your thoughts as you type or do you hear them and run to the page? so curious how others process writing poetry.
    thank you for stopping by my blog for a TY. You are welcome. I thoroughly enjoy your poetry. Each time reading is like a window opening somewhere. intellectually and artistically.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much, Jane. I write in a lot of different ways. Usually things come to my head while in the middle of something else as I don’t always have so much time to sit at the computer -well I’m at the computer a huge amount – but don’t have set writing times. But I’ll be walking about, or on subway or something and have some idea. In this case – I saw that enjambment was going to be part of the prompt and I thought about the cup runneth over because I wanted to come up with something related to run-on. In fact, a friend at my office often does let his coffee cup run over so I thought of him, and then my own pre-occupations. I typed one draft on my iphone on subway ride and then later (in the evening) had to take a long trainride so used a pad to re-write because I didn’t want to revise on iPhone. Then finally got a computer out to play with it more – also train got less crowded.

      But I find that sound is something that evolves a bit – there will be some sounds that I like from the start, but then after I type a draft, I’ll edit quite a bit – changing words to improve the sound. I do not think my meanings are terribly profound most of the time – so that sound becomes much more important.

      Sorry to make this so long– k.

      • janehewey Says:

        thank you for sharing your process. it is fun to hear that you “live” your writing and go through various stages with it. your meanings are probably much more profound than you know…:) And the sounds are just fantastic!

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        Well, unfortunately with all the blogging, one goes through the stages pretty quickly – usually in the course of a day or so – or a couple of hours – but I am trying to get better about posting too quickly as I really hate having to edit something after I’ve put it up.

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        PS – I don’t mind looking at it again a while later – weeks or months – and making it into a better poem – but the next hour or day is excruciating if you really dislike it. k.

  16. Love this, Karin. Not only the great way the enjambment feels like coffee pouring down the page, but the parentheses…yes!

  17. wordcoaster Says:

    Love this! (And I’m a tea drinker as well). A wonderful idea for enjambment and love the mix of literary references (quite a unique blend of coffee here). Looked up Ulysses because I had only ever heard him referred to as Odysseus. Yet another Greek/Roman dichotomy, I suppose. Ah, you’ve got me rambling. Must be the caffeine… 😉

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks! I used Ulysses because it seemed to me to sound better than Odysseus, and also has more modern references, but I think it is less common. I am on my first cup of tea of the day! Thanks. k.

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