Tuesday, July 22, 2014

One Night in the Garden District

I slept in your bed last night.
Searched for coffee
and an accompanying mug
in your kitchen this morning.

Fridge magnets hold wedding invites;
Anna and Nick in Ojai,
Yasmin and Daniel in Toronto.
Postcards from Maroc and Paris?
I've been there too!

The forecast calls for rain
as it does every day in New Orleans
during those months they call summer
when tourists fear to tread.

Two oscillating fans and a window sized AC unit
in your humble coach house flat
— hidden behind a bank of locked gates —
offer little resistance against an oppressive humidity
that makes one's skin glow...day and night

I sip from that found accompanying mug
the one that reads, "Here's lookin' at you kid!
As a grey sky moves through window slats
marking the beginning of a new day.

All I can think of, while embracing your mug is,
I slept in your bed last night
and I don't even know your name
And that it is just another Sunday
in The Big Easy.

— Mark Butkus


  1. I love this hot, humid, sensual atmospheric write. I feel as if I was right there with you in the experience.

    1. Thank you Mary for the kind words. Your thoughts make the poem more sensual.

  2. Like the mood you created in this one. You can read a person by the way they live .

    1. I had not noticed that is what I had done but you are correct. Thank you for the insight :)

  3. Wow, Mark, this one was all Raymond Chandler, making the Big Easy so real, that the gray skies (first rain in 3 weeks) here in WA state seem transported to the Gulf Coast, & I swear I could hear the neighbor speaking in Cajun as he boiled crab in his big metal pot. Really, this is a prose poem that is duplicitous, that walks both side of the written Street effortlessly, without fear. Outstanding job from the other Buttkus; cool.

  4. My one brief memory of New Orleans (changing planes) was of the humidity. That being said, this poem offers a great sense of place and a bit of mystery as to whose bed it was and were they there too. Good attention to detail makes it real for me.

  5. Wow, life in the Big Easy - you painted the picture so clearly, I saw it as if on screen. That is talent!

  6. i like how you capture the atmosphere of the moment... standing in someone's flat and looking at how they live, their mugs and postcards gives more identification than a name me thinks

  7. I love the atmosphere you create through imagery of being in someone else's space. Great write.

  8. you have created an atmosphere with this piece that truly makes it feel like just another day.

  9. Just the fact that this takes place in New Orleans adds somehow a mysterious element to your poem. You set up some unanswered questions too...which only adds to my curiosity. Really enjoyed!

  10. oh..i had to google to know why should a city have a nickname as The Big Easy...and a poem with a bit of mystery is delicious...now i'm thinking of the speaker's you..

  11. Lovely and a bit sad. I love the sense of place in this!

  12. You painted a fantastic "picture" and also show how to perfectly write a prose poem (which happens to be my favorite type of poetry).