B A R R Y L A N D .



poetry slam.
part three: coffee eucharist








a dense meal from the English language's father superior

cathedral builders.
a close observation on what it must have been like

bow ties.
why the real ones that you tie are sexier, and how to do it

observations on what my life is going to be like

father brown mysteries.
ever heard of England's second favorite detective?


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A couple of years ago I found myself teaching songwriting at a sort of summer camp for thoughtful adults. One of the nice perks was that we also got the chance to take part in what other people were teaching, so I took a writing seminar with the brilliant writer David Redding. He advised us to write from the lump in the throat, something I've taken to heart ever since. Here's one thing that came from that seminar, about a memory triggered by the peculiar combination of coffee and morning air at this camp.


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C O F F E E     E U C H A R I S T
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The air is never blank.

This morning, incensed with damp dirt & pine

--then a gust of coffee,

it pangs me back to a mother suddenly smooth

and a father freshly dark-bearded,

just outside

and us still mummied in dewy bags.


That smell, piercing the tenty must, the awakening rattle of tin--

And that unreachable boy

with peanut butter skin and snaggletoothed squint--

How could he know the sacrament that aches me now?

blinking in that moldy chapel of canvas--

communion with cream and sugar.