The Man Who Wrote Letters To His Coat Pockets

Its color sat somewhere on the spectrum between brown and gray
(Such things being dependent on vagaries of the light,
And the perspective of the beholder)
And it served as a testament to the muted benefits of near adequacy,
Being too thin for the portentous winds of December,
And too warm for the capricious sunshine of May,
Its threadbare functionality emblematic of its owner,
Whose relationship with those around him
(Indeed mankind and his universe in general)
Vacillated between an affronted indifference
And an implacable if somewhat muted contempt,
His commerce with his fellow man,
Excepting that required to provide him
With the basics of sustenance and shelter,
Carried on in an epistolary fashion,
Through letters he wrote,
Sometimes to those he encountered on a daily basis,
More often to mankind and the unheeding cosmos in general,
Which were stuffed higgledy-piggledy into his coat pockets.
These missives were not humdrum laundry lists
Of those slights and injuries, be they petty or mortal,
But rather soaring and high-flown in nature and tone,
More kin of the sermon than the scolding,
Celebrations of life’s splendors great and small,
More often than not those he knew little or nothing of first-hand.
He’d no intention of sharing these dispatches with the world at large;
He’d simply empty his pockets once they full enough
To present an inconvenience,
And he’d laundered any number of them
On more than one occasion,
And when he’d passed behind this earthly veil,
All but unnoticed and unmourned,
His landlady had simply pulled out the contents of his coat pockets
And consigned them to the trash,
Believing the garment barely fit for charitable consignment
Even washed and given a goodly airing out,
Let alone burdened with the detritus of another man’s life.


16 thoughts on “The Man Who Wrote Letters To His Coat Pockets

  1. I used to know a poet who wrote on scraps of pap[er which he then stuffed into his pockets. But he did share them with the world. He would pull them out to use at poetry readings, which was a bit comic – and they always turned out to be very good.

  2. Truly a lovely vignette of a man’s life – his writing stuffed in a threadbare pocket (washed a few times) and eventually discarded by his landlady … Such imagination – I love the creativity. I was really drawn in, imagining this man. Thank you.

  3. i had a friend, a best friend for a long while that kept rudimentary notes in a little black book, things like….took a long walk this morning, shopped at safeway, bought a Swanson’t chicken tv dinner, ate it, drank three glasses of captain karkov vodka, listened to Yes’s topogrpahic oceans. He did this for like 20 years….20 freaking years, maybe more of these little journal entries with as you say “no intention of sharing these dispatches with the world at large;” the lone exception being that after we’d had a few drinks, he would pull out one of the black books and share a random page.

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