Poem For The Twenty-First Century Bohemians

I’m looking for a place of acceptance,
A place where my eccentricities
Don’t stand out so much.
Like the Cool Beans Coffee Shop
Where burnt cinnamon walls hold Balinese masks
That oversee the comings and goings of purpled-haired girls,
And Batik hangings curtain doorways and windows.

Where student-musicians and young gays struggle less to fit in
Than in their dank suburban high school corridors
With jocks and young Republicans.
Where a green troll shares my coffee table
Protecting my latte with open arms,
And a girl wearing cat ears for a headband

Sits beneath dead roses on the mantle.
Where the music plays all night and
Chai and latte, mousse and breve,
Once exotic, now quite Americanized,
Form the menu venue for late night palettes,
Where thrift shop furniture embraces back and buttocks,

And makes it all the more Bohemian.
I can write or talk or listen or walk
Around tightly woven African basketry placed perfectly
Haphazardly against sills and end tables.
I can loiter all night; drink lattes till my money runs out,
And create the Great American whatever in the form

Of poetry or prose or scratched DiFranco-like lyrics
On mocha-stained napkins. Blessed by the Pope of
Necessity in a funky sidewalk café created especially
For artsy-fartsy wannabees and born-after-their-time 15-year-olds,
Cool Beans even opens its womb of color and dimly-lit portals
To the mid-income poets who took a wrong turn on the road

To dream-fulfillment and wound up with big houses,
Big-screen TVs and money to spend on
Cappuccino and crème brûlée. We come
In droves to these small rooms where Isadora Duncan
Scarves flung across wicker chairs make us believe
We have just enough daring and talent to make
A night alone at a table with a green troll
And a large French Roast
Bearable.

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