Topkapi

By TropicalSnowstorm

I shift in my seat and turn the page of a menu, trying
in vain to make up my mind, while simultaneously
attempting to listen to my dinner companion over the
gentle hum of conversation floating around the room.
 
The phone in my pocket vibrates to announce the
arrival of a text message sent by someone for whom
a direct verbal exchange was inopportune, doubtless
containing abbreviations and symbols for facial gestures.

An image comes to mind of monks in heavy robes
copying the great works of mankind into the air,
using inkless quills whose movements scatter dust
particles visible in the pools of light around their candles.
 
Truth be told, this would preserve these links with the past
in a medium only slightly less durable than electrons on a
hard drive, or ink on paper in the books some still place
strategically to subtly convey various interests to others.
 
We are meeting at a Turkish restaurant that took over
the location of an old Steak & Ale, with the antiqued
pictures of Wild West scenes replaced by etchings of
Ataturk in various settings of patriotic significance.

In one version he sits on horseback near a line of canon
wielding a saber over his head, presumably calling
down fire on our fellow English speakers at Gallipoli,
or perhaps he is just defending us from food poison.

Inexplicably I am sure I hear a version of Miles Davis’
“Bitches Brew” playing, while my cohort tells me of a
“truly epic” idea as revolutionary as spinning hubcaps,
or inflight air sick bags, or even pre-made slip covers.

Outside the leaves have turned from blazing tones of
scarlet and orange to lifeless brown, their brittle stems
releasing from branches to flutter down and collect in
piles where they lay indistinguishable and forgotten.
  
-- by Steve McKennon, 15 November 2014


 

Unauthorized Copying Is Prohibited. Ask the author first.
Copyright 2014 TropicalSnowstorm
Published on Sunday, November 16, 2014.     Filed under: "Poetry"
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Comments on "Topkapi"

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  • Jonas On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, Jonas (768)By person wrote:

    Common moments their homeliness beautifully underscoring the impermanence of freaking everything.

  • georgelstein On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, georgelstein (62)By person wrote:

    I like the way you draw out the ephemeral nature of life here. Seeming permanence is anything but. The metaphor of the leaves completes the circle. Your verses are conversational and your message is sublime but leave more than digital impressions. Lovely. But I'm going to miss the old steak 'n ale....

  • dwells On Monday, November 17, 2014, dwells (5393)By person wrote:

    That's the kind of history lesson we'll never get in school TS. The old makes way for the new (or sometimes just the old in another iteration). You set a fine stage and the closing metaphor lent a pensive tone to ponder.

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