At Vienna Coffee Houses

KNife and fork

The first goats that chewed
On the red berries we call coffee beans, started jumping
And dancing, just like able bodied men do
On hotel room beds, dancing to the strange tunes
The body hums, when spiked of caffeine.
This was why the legendary Goatherd Kaldi
Dissolved roasted beans on boiling water.
And over in a Viennese coffee house
There are strangers melting the broken ice
Like climate change does, acquiescing to a moment
That neither wants to walk away from,
When each is a little closer to the other
Crafting a deft chemistry, inching towards
A second coffee, or perhaps a slice of cheesecake
Another coffee house date, more primary research,
Perhaps even a clinical study
Of how much caffeine is required
To burn 100 calories of primavera
– The advent of first spring. When two people become
In a matter of a demi-hour,
Two sights for sore eyes and two flesh that knew
The virtue of being a portmanteau
Hyphenated beyond thresholds
To transform into a bridge, which
Is just as invisible, as is visible,
When river banks are fast forgotten
To the concrete arch of love.



coffee cups

The moment passed
In a fraction.

I walked out and you walked in
Through the same open doorway
In a little coffee shop in Soho.
My shoulder gently wrapped
Against yours, as we
Walked in opposite directions.

And I looked back to see
You sitting on the same table as I did.
The chair that I sat on, was yours now.
And the table was waiting to be filled
By a little beverage – a cup of coffee or tea.

And I wondered,
How is it, that destiny can so easily,
Trap space in exact precision,
And yet cannot sequester time
In her elusiveness and disobedience.

Perhaps there will be another moment in time
When my coffee will be as warm as yours
Seated on separate tables
Many feet or meters apart.

Oh fate, how can you be tethered
Locked in two discrete dimensions?
Aren’t accidents only casualties
Of our own underlying need to crash?

And love its debris.

You and I

To Jewel Kilcher.


The misguided forces
Of our own obsessiveness,
Lust that overpowers like a pillow
At the hand of a lover,
And love, that strangely lets
Her get the better of you,
Knowing the heart is a playmaker,
And you have all the tricks in the book
To make her crave you
Like a hot coffee by bedside
That never gets cold
To every sip of hers.



As Arabica, Liberica and Robusta
They are found. The goats munched their beans in Ethiopia
And the herders made a beverage out of it.
At the onset of day, when dawn makes an entrance
The heart leaps out of bed for the soothing
Richness and aroma of blend 43
To make the heart more rhythmic and the gait less cumbersome
You can say that’s when the eyeballs
Stick out and the rods and cones
See a ray of light sneaking through
The closed curtain

And through a pacing heart
And an unsteady hand, the winking eye
Stays awake to a dose of an alkaloid
And you wonder why the Goats
Go “Baaaaaaa” with so much ease….
It is a drug, looking a lot like cocaine
In its purified form, giving a kick
To the dormant senses, even plunging
You to the addicted galaxies
Of paltry idiosyncrasies – the pencil music
Or the scribblings of little poems
Or another mug of Arabica

And all the while, you drink it
Knowing it is when the madman creeps out
Of your sane personality, when the fidgeting
Fingers makes little punch work
On a computer, and you find – ta da –
Something that your boss loves on the screen
And through the innervation of little networks
Pulled by her power, you find
One jet black consistency that grown men and women
Decant from a machine, making the hard grind
A stroll in the park.

And a mug of coffee – what a barista
From Starbucks or Coffeebean brought,
Or what mum has made you
Before school -, is when you learn to do the Viennese waltz
With your fingers, to make little patterns
Into meaningful words and illustrations that
Multiply with great ease.

And this beverage makes
Everything dance at a higher beat
Than they normally would. And how
Beautiful is when all those anatomical parts
That sculpts the Homo sapiens
– Muscle, neuron and even glands –
Are led on the dance floor
To the swing and step, of a little bean
In a black tuxedo, that gifts to man
The tempo of kinesis
And the romance of the road.