Poem: The Old Poet Serves Breakfast

The Old Poet Serves Breakfast

The old poet swills his bourbon
and sticks his fork in yesterday’s scrambled eggs.

“Small words.” He tells you.
“You are not T. S. frigging Eliot.
You are nineteen and you want people to believe you.
Small words. It is more of a challenge
creating beauty and paint from a small palette,
but that is the test of the artist,
creating complexity
out of twigs.”

He offered you a shot.
You declined
but you took his advice
and it serves you well,
even now, when you are as old as he
was, finishing your own breakfast,
without bourbon.

About this poem

At this point, I probably have enough of “The Old Poet” poems to do a book.

The old poet is Robert Hazel, my first poetry teacher. A hard drinking, co-ed chasing, blunt talking, depressive-manic mess of a man who was, to my mind, the perfect teacher for nineteen year old mess of a boy at that point in my life. Hell of a poet too.


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