KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 8: August 2017
Prose Poem: 256 words [R]

New Grind

by John Olson

I need a new grind of coffee a thick black brew tasting of electrons and birds. A coffee so thick it clanks and clatters like tools tossed into the back of a truck.

A grind so alive it shudders with stupefaction.

A grind so emphatic it quivers with baptism and blues.

I propose a new grind a brew of propane and propulsion a blend complex as an insurance claim a commotion a confluence a tumult of flavor swirls and curls of unbridled aroma a grind like a U-haul practical and temporary a brew like a junkyard informal as mud yet estimable as lianas and orchids in Brazilian rain.

A grind pertinent as black pepper in a yellow cupboard uncompromising as garlic shrill as a phalanx of flutes transcendent as a photograph of heaven candid as a cauliflower exotic as Pittsburgh.

A grind fresh and quick as a border collie primordial as a crustacean intractable as asphalt smooth as Burlington rails eventual as rust implacable as death balletic as life and palpable as both.

Something philosophical. Something zingy and metaphysical. Something like Spinoza spinning a web of lightning in the highlands of Peru.

Not a coffee so much as a way of life, a song and a concertina on a Parisian street a volcano erupting on a south Pacific island Jimi Hendrix setting a guitar on fire a dimension a remedy a boiler-room an indefinite article a flock of cranes a riot at the zoo.

A fulcrum. A Belgium. A basso profundo. An ineffable brew.


—Originally published in Olson’s chapbook Eggs and Mirrors (Wood Works Press, 1999), and reprinted in his collection Backscatter (Black Widow Press, 2008); appears here with permissions from the author and Black Widow Press

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