Light Lunch

Polish judges were smiling and rosy.
The auditorium was a geometric shell.
Empty. Placards were ready for judging
to the thousandth of a point, Greek TV
blared from the Brazilian steak shop
where a haggardly lady sat alone
by the register as if she had always
been there and had never moved.
Then the Greek singing was luscious
and thick and mad, terribly mad.
I headed back to work, puzzled about
my place in the world. The tambourines
were chaotically messy.

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  1. #1 by claudia on July 7, 2011 - 10:06 am

    haha – think i need to head for a Brazilian steak shop in my next lunch break…this sounds like the kind of place you def. shouldn’t miss…smiles

    • #2 by Carl on July 7, 2011 - 8:51 pm

      Do they have one of those in your neighborhood? Thank you for commenting, Claudia

  2. #3 by scribbla on July 8, 2011 - 3:34 pm

    I hate it when my routine is interrupted by things I feel I’m missing in life.
    I really enjoyed the atmosphere you created in this piece. Totally universal and relatable.

    • #4 by Carl on July 8, 2011 - 10:56 pm

      Thank you for your powerfully-kind words. It’s great to “see” you back.

  3. #5 by Find an Outlet on July 19, 2011 - 12:05 am

    Hi Carl,
    I meant to comment on this when I first saw it. As in much of your poetry, and poetry in general, I don’t quite understand all of it. If I try to figure it out line by line, I can’t, and I don’t think anyone could quite grasp your exact meaning unless they were you. But…sometimes tufts or plumes spike up and stand out and that’s what happened here. I actually am drawn into this place, if it really is a place, where everyone has their status neatly chosen, or so it seems, except you. If that’s what commenters mean by relatable, then yes, it is to me as well. But I can’t help thinking that the characters you describe may be just as puzzled about their place in the world as you are. But this isn’t their story.

    • #6 by Carl on July 19, 2011 - 9:09 pm

      That is a fabulous take on this. I agree that it is difficult to “completely understand” another’s poem. I look for something that pulls me in or grabs me. Sometimes I try to think objectively how close I am to the author’s intent, but that isn’t really the point. I think the point is finding if it moves you at all in any direction.

      Also, you are right that the other characters might be just as puzzled, but to the speaker in the poem, it seems that they have perfectly accepted their places even though those places and positions are completely alien to the speaker. He isleft to wonder if he should be looking for his place in life or if he might be meant not to have a place, and he is envious of those who do, though he might not enjoy being in their shoes…

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