I was trying to get to you
but someone shut the doors

I was trying to find you
but you flew away

I was dreaming I was crying
funny how it all goes back to dreams
more real than reality
or what reality is willing to believe

I was trying to hold you
knowing at sometime you would leave

I was trying to keep you
but some things cant really be kept

so I dreamed for you
and kept a window open

instead

'Sitting at an open window that night...'. Kirdyanov Denis

Painting by Kirdyanov Denis

Saying Things

I had some thoughts and they got crowded
to the fringes of someone else’s words
I had some highlighted convictions
that got misrepresented
in someone else’s worlds
Had some statements
but others had their claims

oh why do we spin our wheels

and think we’ll ride somewhere

why do we make our speeches
about sentiments not shared

what makes the heart beat and feet stand

on grounds about to be taken

and our passions ignite for people

that would rise and stone us

maybe saying things that got to be said

when they aren’t the norm anymore

saying things that must be said

when they’ll get twisted
saying things because the time to say them is leaving
and what else are poets for

if they are to tired or scared

to say things.

Lace and Wine

Wearing expensive lace
and drinking cheap wine

and wishing I still smoked

sometimes I have to cut off

and let my mind go

everything just gets too heavy

too heavy to carry
and the battles are too numerous to fight
Its too easy to run
but then everyone has their own stands
so no use in talking this out
everyone has their senses pre programmed.

So sometimes when feeling gets too tough
when I’m watching the world burn
and I’m not sure which match is gonna do us in

wearing expensive lace

and drinking cheap wine

wishing I still smoked

and praying I did something right

Neon Goddess

Sometimes I wake up in a nightmare

of reality that someone else dreamed

someones version of utopia

and their definition of reality
and the pinnacle of being a woman
really isnt being a woman at all

it’s being everything they hate about men

and being free don’t mean nothing
except the freedom to think like them
and make the sacrifices only a female can make
on the alter of the neon goddess

drink their own blood

and callous their own hearts
nothing in their eyes

but judgement for dissenters
and in the alter of the neon goddess
she requires you lay down for strangers

in the name of reclaiming what you didn’t know you lost
and then make them pay for your passage

and you can be free just not with the male enemy
and if you do you better cut out his fruit
but if the blind is leading
then the blind just follows

wearing veils of thin and shallow laughter
coarse arguments about nothing more than politics
that they learned to give their life for
breaking down parts of their soul

on the alter of the neon goddess

Be the right kind of woman
defend the right kind of woman
and free your sex
but not your love

and not for a man
like a slave maiden in the courts of Aphrodite
prostituting in the temple
for a success that never comes

maybe men used to hold us down

but now the women limit our view
but its just so much easier to keep blaming you
don’t be fooled by the twisted visions

supplied by spin sisters
who sold their souls to some neon goddess
trying to become great
and trying to make us all pay

Be careful what you say

There’s a new speech code

And the rules haven’t changed

It’s just a changed role

And if you’re surprised

You should’ve known

Be careful what you complain about

Or what you think

Or how loud

There’s a new PC code

And it’s a more more is less 

Kind of less is more reality

Kind of like let’s not agree to disagree

But jus be quiet if you don’t agree

Be careful what you pay attention to

Because the real bad news is going on behind you 

Whatever side you take someone’s lying

There telling the truth in parts 

The parts that will get to you

And make you cry and beg and pray

But they’re lying too

And the hidden price is one everyone pays

So be careful the sides you bet on

On this board everyone plays

A lot of useful idiots swallowing ideas

While the new wave rolls in 

Taking out all the pawns

Be careful what you buy into 

No ones getting a free ride 

cakeĀ 

100 hundred lashes 

Except this is America

We don’t use whips just fines

100 lashes

From the tongues of those who won’t be offended

100 thousand dollars is the price

Take down your business

And everyone is silent

Lest they be the next silenced

Take take take away

Don’t have the right cards

You don’t get to play 

100 lashes

But this is America

And we don’t use whips

We use economic battles

When you don’t agree

Baby there’s a new faith in town

And you must believe

Don’t care about the Muslims

Don’t care about the faithless

Or the Mormons

Or the new agers

It’s just you 

The new invisible nation is after

And watch us choke you out

And hear the silence

As we insult and degrade you

You know it’s the truth

Objectivity and free speech 

We dish it out but don’t take it

…. Can’t have our cake and it eat it too 

The Return of My Favorite Barista…

There’s a boy that works at Starbucks…No. No.No…I’m just kidding.
Four years ago a small business coffee/book shop opened right up the road from where I work. Becuase the stop had formerly been a Starbucks which I frequented, I did not shop there for several months. Instead I opted to go to another Starbucks. You know there are no shortages of Starbucks, Long Story short, somehow I wound up in Church Street one morning and found out that all their pastires were housemade, and some of them were actually really good for you. With the truly different pastry options, the location closer to work and the personalities of the business starters-I became an avid supporter. Like all coffee snobs, I had my favoite coffee drink and routine and my favorite barista. Sri. Sri Koduri is real, un prentensious, sweetheart of a human being and a genius at the espresso machine. No amount of money could be lost betting that he is the whole town’s favorite barista. He is that one that stands behidn the machine and gives you knowing looks about all the other customers. So of course you feel like you are the only customer he comes to work for. Genius.

My drink is not complicated. A soy au lait. Coffee and soy milk. After having a routine of dashing in and getting my soy coffee drinks and being late for work, I began to notice that they never tasted the same when someone else made them. Ever. I figured Sri put some vanilla syrup in them along with the milk. One day I mentioned it and he said he just put the coffee in after milk. Once I went in at night and requested that the young “I’m here because I’m a hipster in college and I need a part time job” make it that way. No difference. Even the owner who is also an exceptional barista, doesn’t make them the same way.I finally had to admit…I’m a coffee snob. I’m that customer that bugs people. As a bartender I know this…I despise people like me. But if Sri ever felt that way he was gracious about it. Sometimes during my years of work and school when I came in from a night of studying only to go straight to work, Sri would make something extra-probably a shot in the dark with soy milk for all I know, or a larger soy au lait. He would discount these at his own discretion when no one was looking and I had definitly not asked.

Last November I noticed that Sri had not been around for at least two weeks. I asked the new small framed person that Sri had been training where he was, had he taken a vacation? “Oh, he won’t be back for a while he has bells palsy…” Stunner. “What? How…when…what even is that? “His face is paralyzed…he really isn’t doing good’. I had to research this and all its unknown prognosis. Over the months we as a community kept up with Sri, who couldn’t talk and would send handwritten sign messages over his instagram and facebook. He and his partner started a gofundme for his therapy. I sent him a few messages and gave to his cause when I could. It became summer time and by then so many rotations of baristas had come and gone-or so it semed that way. I still supported my favorite small business in town. The tree hugger bars, the zuchini bread. An occasional chocolate cookie. The mixes on my coffee still sucked. I asked once for them to put vanilla syrup in it just to see…”ok..but the soy milk is vanilla…” Still not great. The litte person that had trained with Sri ,who also came the closest in knowing what I was looking for, had left for some reason. I asked about Sri from time to time and finally heard that he would be coming back , taking a few afternoon shifts here and there. Weeks went by but still no signs. I came in a few mornings would see a line, and realize I was running late for work and just leave. I can make coffee at work. The new person at the espresso machine doesn’t know me and the one at the register who I have seen for a month now still asks what size coffee I want. Finally Sri posted on his facebook that he would be back that week. I came in and asked a pair baristas who said yes he had been working the afternoons…but they still had not met him since they worked in the morning. “He has such a following..I mean for real…a lot of fans”. I answered “well yes he is very loved. No offense but it just hasn’t been the same”. “Well-what is it about him, I mean why…”

I could have answered “well he knows what he is doing” but that would be rude and an affront to the whole business. They do know what they are doing, and who can answer that question? Be you a barista, a bartender, the produce guy in a grocery store or the clerk at a bank. It is how you interact with people, because at the end of the day it all about people. It is also how you feel about your craft. There are jobs we have as ladders and there are jobs we have because we love them. Sri reflects all that. “Well..he is just a really sweet personality..he knows everyone and makes people feel good”. They gave me a blank look like that was the most generic answer to a lo of hyper emotions that they had probably already witnessed. They would be right. It was a generic answer. So I finally heard he would be in on a Sunday afternoon. Praise be to God I was off work and got to just go to Church Street for no other reason but to see a friend. He came in and saw me and gave me a big hug. Part of his face still unmoving and his speech a tad slower, but he still looked 99 percent better than his Facebook pictures from the winter, when the muscle/cranial shift had first happened. Yes, his was so extreme there was a cranial shift. He filled me in on the chiropractor/accupuncture/essential oil therapy that had taken months and was still ongoing. Hence the reason for gofundme. Alternative therapies cost and the danger of working with this type of extreme was really high. Fascinating and scary story. I told him about my promotion and of course he knew I had graduated. So he made me my soy au lait and slid it to me with a grin that said “I think you deserve that”.  I took a sip as I was walking away and there it was. That “whatever it is” that all of our favorite baristas or bartenders do to our favorite drinks. I’m convinced he puts syrup in it. But at the moment who cares-it was finally right. I turned and nodded to say “yes thats what I was looking for”  and he smiled. He told me that he told his partner about me and if I ever have to go into the Starbucks across town that he could make them the same way. (So there is a secret ).
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The gofundme page for Sri (w/updates)

And if you are ever in Mountain Brook Alabama, visit Church Street Coffee and Books. Great people!

Bell’s Palsy