Archives for posts with tag: cafes


Censured at Seattle’s Best
by Ellaraine Lockie

A book bumps my
Swiss chocolate bar off the tiny table
to the freshly wiped wooden floor
Where the carefully rationed quota
of daily decadence
winks cocoa bean brown eyes
in clandestine persuasion

I’d pick it up
and plop it in my mouth
The life expectancy of most germs
being less than sixty seconds
If it weren’t for the three-year old boy
watching like a dog-in-waiting
to see what my next move might be

Role model mindful
And with maybe meagerly concern
for castigation from customers
old enough to consume coffee
I proceed with the picking up part
and place the chocolate by my thesaurus

The implied trip
to the trash can in the corner
is obscured behind a need to write longer
than a three-year old’s attention span
and a clientele’s turnover
When I can carefreely complete
my consummation of the culinary act

SOURCE: First published in The Centrifugal Eye and later in Coffee House Confessions (Silver Birch Press, 2013).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Every morning I write in a coffee shop while sipping espresso and consuming an ounce or two of dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa. There is a ritual to this that I highly recommend: after each sip of coffee, place a tiny bit of chocolate on your tongue and let it melt. Never chew. This allows the 600-plus flavor components of chocolate to penetrate your taste buds like a fine wine does. The process can take fifteen minutes, and when you’re finished, you’ll feel like you had a most sumptuous and satisfying dessert . . . and also like you’d never really tasted chocolate before. Try it! P. S. And I almost never eat it off the floor.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ellaraine Lockie
is a widely published and awarded author of poetry, nonfiction books and essays. Her eleventh chapbook, Where the Meadowlark Sings, won the 2014 Encircle Publication’s Chapbook Contest. Ellaraine teaches poetry workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh. She is currently judging the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contests for Winning Writers.

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EARLY SUNDAY MORNING
By Edward Hirsch

I used to mock my father and his chums
for getting up early on Sunday morning
and drinking coffee at a local spot
but now I’m one of those chumps.
 
No one cares about my old humiliations
but they go on dragging through my sleep
like a string of empty tin cans rattling
behind an abandoned car.
 
It’s like this: just when you think
you have forgotten that red-haired girl
who left you stranded in a parking lot
forty years ago, you wake up
 
early enough to see her disappearing
around the corner of your dream
on someone else’s motorcycle
roaring onto the highway at sunrise.
 
And so now I’m sitting in a dimly lit
café full of early morning risers
where the windows are covered with soot
and the coffee is warm and bitter. 

SOURCE: “Early Sunday Morning” appears in Edward Hirsch’s collection The Living Fire (Knopf, 2010), available at Amazon.com.

IMAGE: “Cup of Blue” by Sebastian Lartiste. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Edward Hirsch is an American poet and critic who wrote the national best seller How to Read a Poem. He has published eight books of poems, including The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems (2010), which brings together thirty-five years of work. He is president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in New York City.

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Congratulations to Ellaraine Lockie — author of the Silver Birch Press poetry release Coffee House Confessions — on her latest rave review.  Written by David Fraser — who calls the collection “unique…quirky, entertaining, and meaningful” the review appears at ascentaspirations and ragazine.

For her admirable poetry in Coffee House Confessions, Silver Birch Press is pleased to nominate Ellaraine Lockie for a 2013 Pushcart Prize. To celebrate, here’s a poem from the collection:

SINGLE AT THE SECOND CUP COFFEE SHOP
by Ellaraine Lockie

He asks if I’m Carol
A serious man squeezing a paper coffee cup
and smelling like an ad for Calvin Klein cologne
 
My denial so devastatingly disappointing
that he dashes straight to his Porsche convertible
And in despair peels out of the parking lot
 
Or his expectation so exceedingly unmet
that he chauffeurs disillusion and any further gamble
to his wheels of fortune and spins out of the game
 
I don’t even know the rules
But finish my iced Italian roast
Feeling like a woman who lied on her resume

Find Coffee House Confessions by Ellaraine Lockie at Amazon.com.

Cover photo by Nick Warzin. Find him at nickwarzin.com.

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Congratulations to Ellaraine Lockie on the stellar reviews for her poetry chapbook Coffee House Confessions (Silver Birch Press, 2013). Reviews are featured at the Winning Writers Newsletter site (winningwriters.com) and also  included below along with some additional blurbs.

“I know no one else who manages to combine quantity of poems with quality the way Ellaraine Lockie does. She is a font of creative ideas and brings the ultimate in craft and experience to the realizing of those products of inspiration, observation and research.” Gerald Locklin, Professor Emeritus of English at California State University, Long Beach

“It is official; Christmas has arrived early this year with the publication of Ellaraine Lockie’s latest book Coffee House Confessions. I knew the merits of this book before I cracked the cover but each poem gave me an enjoyment that so few other writers can muster. This is a wonderful book by a talented poet. I recommend it highly, especially for those summer days sitting outside at your favorite coffee shop.” Ed Bennett, Quill and Parchment

“I am enjoying Ellaraine’s collection immensely…the settings for these moving short stories in poetic verse are international in flavor and tone (Spain and Portugal, for instance) and there are universal truths aplenty, from musings on the unkind aspects of aging, to the self-justified apathy toward the less fortunate in society (and on the sidewalks and outdoor patios of coffee hutches that we share every day).” Rodger Jacobs, Journalist

“This collection deserves a wide audience…once coffee houses were locales for galvanizing live poetry readings, now we can achieve almost the same nirvana by reading this witty book.” Christine Pacosz, FutureCycle Press

“…a very well done collection of poems… there’s something for everyone in this collection. If you love contemporary poetry, you are sure to find some gems here that speak to you. If you don’t know if you love contemporary poetry, this might be a good place to start finding out.” Marcia Meara, Bookin’ It

“…a really great read.” Jessie Carty, Review Wrap-Up, jessiecarty.com

Find Coffee House Confessions by Ellaraine Lockie at Amazon.com.

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Ten poems from Coffee House Confessions by Ellaraine Lockie — released by Silver Birch Press in February 2013 — will be featured on PoetsWest at KSER 90.7 FM on Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 6:30 (PST), available worldwide via streaming by visiting kser.org and following the Listen Live links.

Find Coffee House Confessions by Ellaraine Lockie in paperback and Kindle versions at Amazon.com.

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Congratulations to Ellaraine Lockie, author of the Silver Birch Press poetry release COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS on another stellar review — this one from the literary magazine THE MOM EGG. Excerpts from the review are included below.

THE MOM EGG BOOK REVIEW
by Katie Baker

Coffee shops are considered diverse gathering places, establishments where all walks of life, both young and old, come to read, write, congregate and socialize — and most importantly, get their coffee fix. However, one forgets the importance of the ritual cup when they begin to read Ellaraine Lockie’s chapbook, Coffee House Confessions. The chapbook features poems written in and about coffee houses around the world…

…what makes these poems in this chapbook unique is Lockie’s ability to connect — connect the reader to a place, a person (or people) and to materials through her writing. She creatively takes normal human behavior, mundane human interactions and creates beautifully crafted poems out of the occurrences…

Lockie has a unique talent in being able to observe without intruding, to even play along albeit with subtle humor, and become part of the story without becoming overwhelming to the reader. In the seemingly ordinary details of the coffee houses, we find extraordinary prose, clever and witty…

Her chapbook is refreshing, full of vibrant imagery. Each poem offers a humorous, poignant, and creative escape into the life of the coffee house.

***

Coffee House Confessions by Ellaraine Lockie is available at Amazon.com.

Cover image by Nick Warzinnickwarzin.com

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The recent Silver Birch Press poetry release COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS by Ellaraine Lockie has garnered a rave from reviewer Ed Bennett at Quill and Parchment (quillandparchment.com).

Here are some excerpts from Bennett’s review:

Christmas has arrived early this year with the publication of Ellaraine Lockie’s latest book Coffee House Confessions. As always, Ms. Lockie has assembled a group of poems that allows one to read and then spend some time pondering the relationship between her words and our own emotional landscape. The theme of this book revolves around Ms. Lockie’s personal discipline of going to a coffee shop, no matter where she may be, and draw inspiration from the rest of the patrons and the staff. The resulting collection is a laser eyed look at humanity and the way we interact in this caffeinated laboratory…

Ellaraine Lockie has written ten collections of poetry and, not surprisingly, she has won awards both in the United States and in the United Kingdom. This latest book carries the characteristic stamp of her work: accessible language with creative imagery and an understanding eye that sees deeper into the realities of the world.  Despite the familiarity of style, each of her books is a unique work and Coffee House Confessions is no exception. While we may see our local coffee shop as a good place for a brew, Ms. Lockie sees a workshop of human interaction. What we may dismiss as a fleeting gesture, she finds a more complex meaning.
 
Yes, I knew the merits of this book before I cracked the cover but each poem gave me an enjoyment that so few other writers can muster. This is a wonderful book by a talented poet. I recommend it highly, especially for those summer days sitting outside at your favorite coffee shop.

Read the entire review at Quill and Parchment.

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Congratulations to Ellaraine Lockie, author of the Silver Birch Press poetry release COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS, for her book’s review in the May 2, 2013 Examiner. We are including the stellar review in its entirety below.

A POET FINDS A MUSE
Examiner.com review
by Cheryl Wyneken

Ellaraine Lockie’s book of poetry, Coffee House Confessions (Silver Birch Press, 2013), piques my interest with its fresh ground coffee aroma that brings the promise of insights into life rising on each page. It introduces us to people of all sizes and shapes, cultures, ages, race and political or religious outlooks: a Teddy Bear man, raking pebbles in a Buddhist Zen sand garden out front, Stockbroker in a Silicon Valley suit, an Italian coffee maker/at the Bar La Cisteria, the ghosts of Lord Byron, Hans Christian Andersen and Luis Vaz de Camoes. As the title suggests, the collection is a compilation of the insights Lockie has gained from watching people come and go in coffee shops around the world where she arrives daily with pen and pad in hand.

As a true poet she uses vibrant images: Starbucks, Santa Claus, stage four Jesus, Mountain Man, Mobile, pack of Camels, Salem cigarettes and Valium. Her delightful free style poems are also enhanced by her use of poetic compression and alliteration: bristle/brush and lettering/lizards.

Lockie opens the collection with “Java Genetics,” an analysis of the connection between storytelling around campfires of prehistory, to today’s coffee houses and poets, likening their relationship to a seed (coffee bean) that has been planted and evolved in our DNAs. She explains her use of the word confessions in “White Noise and Other Muses”: Little does she know I’m eating her alive. “The Privacy of Public” deals with how troubles in life can often be dealt with better under the restraint of strangers watching: Something horrible here that can be alluded to/…perhaps only in the privacy of public. In “The Young and The Restless,” she finds memories from her own life in one coffee house as she watches the antics of a lively dog: The woman ties her charge to the table legs/…He sniffs the air then yanks the table toward /leftovers in a garbage can.

The last entry, “You’ve Come a Long Way Baby,” brings us to a typical coffee shop occasion portrayed as a scene in Edwardian England where the poet has come to sell her chapbooks and a sale buys the day’s quota of caffeine.

I recommend this entertaining and well rendered collection of poems.

Coffee House Confessions is available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon or ordered from bookstores.

Cover photo: Nick Warzin (nickwarzin.com)

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Ellaraine Lockie (pictured above right with poet Juanita Torrence-Thompson), author of the Silver Birch Press release COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS sent this photo from her Saturn Series reading in New York City on April 22, 2013. Congratulations to Ellaraine on her East Coast reading tour, where she read from COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS. A selection from the book is included below. Find COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS in paperback and Kindle versions at Amazon.com.

SINGLE AT THE SECOND CUP COFFEE SHOP
by Ellaraine Lockie

He asks if I’m Carol
A serious man squeezing a paper coffee cup
and smelling like an ad for Calvin Klein cologne
 
My denial so devastatingly disappointing
that he dashes straight to his Porsche convertible
And in despair peels out of the parking lot
 
Or his expectation so exceedingly unmet
that he chauffeurs disillusion and any further gamble
to his wheels of fortune and spins out of the game
 
I don’t even know the rules
But finish my iced Italian roast
Feeling like a woman who lied on her resume

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Ellaraine Lockie, author of the Silver Birch Press poetry release COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS, performed at the Two Moon Art House and Cafe in Brooklyn on April 7th — and in the audience was Nick Warzin, the Toronto-based photographer who shot the photograph that appears on the cover of her book (included below). Lockie received an email from Warzin in the afternoon and learned that he was also in NYC. She invited him to the gig and they met at last — and commemorated the meeting with the photo you see here. For more about Nick Warzin, visit his website at nickwarzin.com.

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