Seattle, Washington, United States
For those who love coffee, poetry, art, or stories - stay. Have a cup with us.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

sunday sip: faith or fear

I really respect people who believe. I'm not necessarily concerned with what they believe, just that they believe in SOMETHING. In a culture that spends so much time arguing, yelling, debasing, devaluing - I think we should remember that no matter what side of what spectrum we are on, there is a person on the other side, courageously standing with a pennant in their hand, a pennant they trust and love just as much as our own.

I spend too much time griping about other people's beliefs and not enough time marveling at them. Thank you to my friend, Kaela, who posted "Let your faith be bigger than your fears" on Facebook today. I have faith in human beings, and I'd like to make a commitment to let that faith be larger than any fear I may have of their different views.

Minds only function when open, after all.

Join me for a cup.
-michael

Thursday, February 23, 2012

many, many months

Discontent is a poison the human spirit concocts in a suicidal attempt at realism.

And with that, good morning, Coffee Lovers. I'd like to begin by apologizing for the lack of a post on Thursday and Sunday. I was sick and then in California. But I'm here now for this Thursday's important notice.

I want to address poison. I don't just want to write ABOUT it; I want to write TO it. Just as the body fails, slowly or quickly, quietly or violently, when poison is let loose in the veins, so, too, does the soul fail in its varied tasks when discontent and daily warmongering against the self and all the other selves belonging to other people overtake the fragile arteries of the mind.

So, to you, Discontent: go away. I've opened wide the gray door that leads in here and in you have traveled, or perhaps I crafted you from disappointment and confusion. Regardless of your origin, you have stayed far too long here, in my mind. And I am respectfully requesting that you quietly leave me in peace now.

If not, if indeed you persist in your darkness and malcontent, well - it means war. With a sack of swords given me by those who love me, with armor I have made in my fragile two hands, I will unmake you. I will smile past you, compliment past you, dance past you, laugh and love and sing and write past you. Discontent, winter is ending, and so you, too, must bow to spring. I choose to be roseate like the first flowers of May; I choose to glow like that distant and ever-nearer ball of fire that defies the darkness of our Universe. I choose no frost to be a part of me; freeing myself from ice, I rise beyond you and your unnecessary, inhuman tears.

---

I spent this weekend in Berkeley, California and then in San Francisco with some of my favorite people in the world. Sitting, looking out at the ocean as the sun sunk to purple extinguishment with my friend Shreya (http://stayepic.blogspot.com), I remarked how good, simple, necessary it felt to be perfectly and peacefully happy.

There is something about the ocean which understands those on her border, accepts all of their sorrow and banishes it to her depths, where it is sung out by whales and made beautiful. It was in the realizing of this, in the realizing that there is so much that is greater than me, that I settled into a peace I have not known for many, many months.

May you find the ocean this week, or the week after. May your wait be short, your peace be long.

And: may you rage with all the ferocity you can muster against discontent, always.

May your coffee be strong, your passions electric, and your laughter easy.
-michael

Thursday, February 16, 2012

no post today

No post today, Coffee Lovers. I was really sick this week and weekend, and I have a lot of homework to catch up on.

Keep it strong.
-michael

Thursday, February 9, 2012

required reading

Hey, Coffee Lovers. I'm having a touch of writers' block lately, so I'm taking this opportunity to post a poem that I love by another author.

Russian Birch

Is it agony that has bleached them to such beauty? Their stand
is at the edge of our property—white spires like fingers, through which
the deer emerge with all the tentative grace of memory. Your father

loved these trees. When you try to imagine his childhood, it is all old
footage, in a similar scheme: black and white. But he died, and all you know
is that they reminded him of home. As they remind you he is gone

to a country as unimaginable as his life before you were born, before
the woman who would be your mother lived as she does now—lost,
wandering at the edge of her life’s whitened gates.

After a storm, one birch fell in the field, an ivory buttress collapsed across
the pasture. Up close there is pink skin beneath the paper, green lichen
ascending in settlements of scales. In the dark yard it beckons you back

to snow, the static of the past—your father, a boy, speaking in a tongue
you never knew, calling down from the branches. Or the letter you wrote
to a mother you weren’t allowed to miss—black ink scrawled across

the white pulp of the page: I am very lonely without you.
--Nathaniel Bellows, 2007

May your coffee be strong, your passions electric, and your laughter easy.
-michael

Sunday, February 5, 2012

sunday sip: solve for X

They are unknowables, variables in an equation which does not submit to common or understandable regulatory mathematical systems. Where are they going? From what have they come? If I knew the proper numbers, would I be able to multiply them to infinity or negative one? Zero is the constant, myself, tangible in my own skins, my hair and feathers. Their facade rushes toward me, the speed of light, as I lift - fragile balloon - into obscurity. The vapor from my coffee cup contradicts the minuscule dust beneath my sneakers.

But strangers look on as I scrape roofs and then the sky. Embracing the sunlight, I wish them well.

Join me for a cup.
-michael


Thanks to Kathryn, and sorry to all of you for missing a post on Thursday; I was preparing for a debate tournament.