blackmail press 34
David Eggleton
New Zealand

spirits of the forest  Vanya Taule'alo
A Coffee Poem

for Larry Matthews

Even from the first sip,
carousels of whirling cups start up,
and that rollercoaster loop-the-loop
Haunted Mansion fluttery bats feeling,
that Fun Mountain Climb blue ceiling sensation,
that whinny of hoof beats across the heart,
that giddy sugar-shock hit as neon flashes
and you float through hysteric glamour on the liquid mean;
so here's the thing, the molecular throw-down,
whether a skinny on a leash,
or a power mango latte in a grease-
trap, or a double-decaf with almonds to set
yourself up for a mega-mall go-around –
though light-years away from the caramel-
coloured hard-sell of industrial flavours and Planet
Heartburn's 'tree-fresh' o.j. –
whether black for the red-eye, the jet-lag,
black for the loved-up, black even unto those that gag
at bitter crystallisation of seething wells,
and each drop a silky piano note
steamed from the roasted bean,
cupped in cardboard, polystyrene,
painted glass, or hand-thrown ceramic,
and summoning up wavering syrups of Araby,
wraiths of Colombian mojo elixir,
haloes of Ethiopian mist, earth spices,
java jive, Papuan sing-sing,
or atomic Afro's joyous-bubbled  woosh;
here's the thing: had you the ability
to read those grounds, you might see
that the concept, let this be
your commodity fetish,
has ever schemed
its slo-mo assumption
of your taste-buds,
even from the first sip.

David Eggleton has published six collections of poetry and lives in Dunedin.