A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

A Clean, Well-Lighted PlaceEvery hour seems happy hour
in this diner on some corner,
the coffee pot fresh and warm,
each table a worn flower.

She passes her reflection
in the silence of the old
jukebox, vacant these many
years, and fingers a grey hair

wistfully behind one ear.
He sees her waiting all hours,
having come to occupy
the booth outside her kitchen.

He orders breakfast, coffee and eggs,
for lunch, her meatloaf and mashed,
later in the afternoon, a milkshake
and fries, on the radio

a Bach organ squeezed, strained
through a deep, golden tuba.
But he did not notice who left her
the short note in her tip jar.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Sarah E. says:

    I love your poetry, think I might have to sit down and write…thank you for inspiring me on this rainy Thursday in Northern California.

    Like

    1. Joe Linker says:

      I’m glad, thx. It’s raining here, too. Must be raining all over the world, as the song says, but of course it’s not. Write today; sounds good.

      Like

  2. bristlehound says:

    A Clean, Well-Lighted Place – – Makes me just breathe. It is so quiet and un-pretentious and powerful. I loved this Joe thank you.B

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    1. Joe Linker says:

      Thx, B. Just came in from outside. It’s been raining off and on all day. Half a big rainbow for a few minutes in the eastern sky an hour or so ago.

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      1. bristlehound says:

        Let the sun shine in. We are collecting nuts now. Trying to outwit the possums- we don’t need nuts just want annoy these wall-dwelling very large squirrels. Aussies love sport.B

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        1. Joe Linker says:

          Oh, possums! We’ve our share of the critters, and raccoons (who also like living in walls, under porches, in attics), and even a coyote or two, sightings of those guys jogging down the middle of the street in the early am – no worries, except for the local cats. Squirrels, of course, taking over the place. And one year, a peacock walking up the sidewalk, shades of Flannery O’Connor. And birds on the rise. … But collecting nuts, great fun the U-pick. Oh, and I forgot to mention the rats, speaking of hard nuts, why need to collect the fallen plum seeds. They say we’re never more than 50 feet from a rat. Where’s a good snake when you need one? And spiders galore. Slugs and carpenter ants. They should be named wrecker ants. But all in all, one wonders, what are we in the midst of this evolutionary journey?

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  3. Dan Hennessy says:

    1 Alway enjoy the art work . 2 Hows about putting out a poetry book ?

    Like

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Funny story that particular painting. S didn’t like it, all the faces, hard to view, from what distance? So I kept working on it, eventually painted over it. But I had taken a pic of it at some point, which is what you see in the post. But E liked the finished painting, and now has it, but I don’t seem to have a pic of the finished painting. Here’s a version of it, but I can’t remember if this is before or after the faces and stick figures, might be before: http://twitpic.com/dm4hkv Well, maybe not so funny, but a story, anyway. Will think about a poetry book. Not sure I have enough. Chapbook maybe. The kind Jama used to do. If I do one I’ll sent you a copy. Meantime, looking for an agent for Penina’s Letters. Do you know any agents? I didn’t realize literary agent. I’ve been sending inquiries to travel agents. Reminded of Jack London’s book, “Martin Eden.” Martin decides to become a writer and starts to sent out manuscripts. Doesn’t understand why they all keep coming back, until one day someone tells him, you know, you’re supposed to type them.

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