isadora gruye’s “the writing dead”, seen from a quarter turn or so

They are, like ants and roaches, ubiquitous and constantly underfoot,

Nursing their lattes and mocachinos on some sidewalk,

Dropping bits of Bukowski and Palahniuk

As if they had been old friends or drinking buddies,

Sporting spare porkpies and thick-rimmed glasses with non-prescription lenses.

They spout the requisite phrases and make the appropriate faces,

But they are no more than ghosts,

Never having turned a shovel or kicked a ball in anger,

Or considered making or leaving a heart whole and unbroken.

The odd cribbed bon mot aside, they are powerless to create,

Save for what morsels of cleverness they can cobble

From uncultivated innate ability, small gift boxes of wordplay

Adequately wrapped, but empty inside.



What to do with these sad collections of affectations,

These anesthetized approximations who walk among the living?

Nothing left to inter the dead, one supposes,

Their services to be held in some small-city downtown Starbucks

(Or in some free-trade organic indie alcove in the Portlands and Berkleys

They so often gravitate toward), the remains to be committed

To a cubicle in some branch office of some insurance giant

Or the cosmetics counter in some mall retail outlet

Which sits on the site where, once upon a time,

There sat an auditorium where the town’s operatic society,

Enthusiastically if not particularly ably,

Presented a sketchy translation of La Boheme.



11 thoughts on “isadora gruye’s “the writing dead”, seen from a quarter turn or so

  1. This reads angry, which is a first for me reading you, I must say. But then, who doesn’t hate hipsters? And as much as I enjoy Bukowski, it seems that everybody misses his infinite feeling of self superiority, which I think is present in all of his poems, if not as much in the prose…

  2. Oh you know I love Ms. Gruye….and she does inspire. This was so spot on. I was visitng San Fran and went to Vesuvio for a beer after shopping at the City Lights book store and there where still today some of these same folks hanging and being cool. I loved this, great portrait of the wannabe cool kids.

  3. Well, I can’t be criticizing them, at least they’re quoting someone. And they will grow up. Then they’ll grow old. They’ll wear prescription lenses and forget every quotation they ever memorized, until, in the retirement home, the care facility and the hospice, they won’t even remember they once thought themselves cool.

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