david lean, part 1 (or i wonder why she thinks my journal is post-modern)

(enter room, tracking shot, follow feet of narrator)

we sit 3am
in the waffle house
as one should only visit the waffle house at 3am

ordering
1 coffee
1 vanilla flavored coke
1 waffle
1 order of hash browns: scattered smothered and covered

i bring out my journal and try to speak of david lean
“that’s so post modern”
she replies

the journal or david lean?

as she butters her waffles
i notice that the color of the butter almost
matches the dingy yellow of the floor

“why is there a hole in the journal” she asks
the point of view changes
and i realize that we are
never going to talk about david lean

(low angle facing up)

“is it the hole that makes so post modern” i ask
further hiding the flavor of the waffles she pours the syrup
evenly washing over buttered ridges
square by square

i lose myself in the syrup   wondering
why my mother never made molasses cookies
“did your mother ever make molasses cookies”
i ask as she is still pouring her syrup

“what”
“hows your mother”
“what”
“hows your mother”
“fine” “do you know my mother”
“no” “did she ever make molasses cookies”
“what”
“never mind”

(wide angle from overhead)

the syrup and the waffles are done
and my hash browns are cold and untouched
and i still haven’t asked her about david lean

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4 thoughts on “david lean, part 1 (or i wonder why she thinks my journal is post-modern)

  1. I like to think of the two opposing forces: the small talk, the mundane versus the grandeur of a David Lean film(“Lawrence of Arabia” and “A passage to India” come to mind)

  2. Just read your poem again. The flavour of the waffles. She’s washing over and hiding it. Just like the small talk does over the writer’s wish to talk about David Lean. Feels like a wish for David Lean to be anti-post-modern?

  3. I want to know what you were going to say about David Lean! And I really like the idea of integrating camera shot directions into a poem. Also the tiny, everyday details of the syrup being poured into waffle squares – reminds me of Larkin’s image of the hospital as a beehive (an old memory, and not necessarily accurate!).

    • thank you. it is very flattering to be reminded of Larkin. This was one of those poems that came to a dead stop pretty much after the last line.

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