April 2, 2024

National Poetry Month 2024: Four Sonnets by Kai Jensen.

National Poetry Month 2024: Four Sonnets by Kai Jensen.

Kai kicks off NPM with an excellent collection of themed poems. Welcome to FC, Kai. Enjoy the blue ribbon!


Desperado (Boneless Café)

These short, bright autumn days,

the sky a lighter blue than summer’s

as though it’s fading with the year.

The bay nudges into the land saying,

Look what wealth of sparkles I bring.

The fronds of the palms along Lamont Street

dangle, relaxed, like a gunslinger’s

fingers above the holster –

or is that me, confident I can draw

something out of all this loveliness

to fly and pierce your heart?

And like the desperado, I’m willing to gamble

in this dangerous game of letting

beauty enter us, my own flawed life.

Boneless Café again

Karen, on her way to a meeting,

covered in zig-zags, stops to say hello

as the track riffs out in repetitions—

tall, thin Karen who used to give massages

and now manages rental properties.

The afternoon’s so bright

I can barely stand to look at the bay

and a new track starts, equally mellow

(marimbas) as a tiny spider traverses

between keyboard and saucer;

I guess it parachuted into this poem.

I can’t stand not to look at the bay either,

the mountain luminous behind — a view

for which you don’t mind hurting your eyes.

Five Loaves Café, Parramatta

The third coffee’s too much –

over-ripe, it resurrects the taste

of my smoker’s mouth, of coffees

drunk to kill time on European pavements

when I was young. Waiting for some

famous gallery to open before I knew

what art was. These moments when

everyone’s going about their morning

and in the midst of the bustle you’re alone,

invisible, you don’t make sense.

I was so bad at loneliness then.

Now I know how to outwait it, that

nothing too extreme will follow. You can

even maintain self-respect, because

loneliness is lonely too – we all are.

The Big Rain (Casey’s Café, Narooma)

Lynch’s Hotel has its Christmas decorations up

and the sushi banner flies bravely

just down the hill, but the coast beyond

is one vast sheaf of grey, the intersection

swept by the same rain that flattened my hair,

makes my jeans clammy. The cafe’s

surprisingly packed. At the next table

six older guys in black or blue

chatter and lay down the law.

The drive here was wild: branches on the road,

the windscreen opaque with rain

no matter what speed the wipers.

One of the six gets up to unbolt the door,

admit a woman wrapped in a shawl of hair.

Kai Jensen was born in Philadelphia. As a child he emigrated to New Zealand with his family, and is now an Australian. Kai works from home as a consultant and specialist editor at Wallaga Lake on the Far South Coast of New South Wales. His poems (many written in cafés) have appeared in most leading Australasian literary journals and in the United States, in The Inquisitive Eater, Men Matters Online, NewVerseNews and Rattle

#Cafe#Kai Jensen#life#National Poetry Month 2024#poetry

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