Griffith M – Michael Griffith poems

How can I help you? the home robot asks
as I tap the screen for my morning game.
She gives me the same dopamine rush,
just with different apps.
Different apps by day, different apps by night.
How can I help you?
I’m hungry.
I curse the old toaster for burning my bread
as the ‘fridge tells me that I’m low on eggs
and high in cholesterol.
The robot discards the burnt toast and toaster.
The drone will have new here by lunch.
How can I help you?
Endless choices, all familiar, from
age-appropriate algorithms,
records of in-game choices, viewing preferences,
prior purchases, and R&D.
How can I help you?
I open the front door to smell the breeze
as my doorknob tells me the weather:
Chilly, a bit damp; a soft rain later today.
The coatrack turns, offering me the right hat,
the best coat for the weather.
I command it to stop.
I want to feel the chill, the breeze.
How can I help you?
The rack keeps spinning, pushing the hat and coat my way.
I repeat the command.
How can I help you?
I close the door.
How can I help you?
The rack keeps spinning.
How can I help you?
There is no breeze to smell.

The Affair
I pass the salt and glance up as she attracts my attention;
the woman in the window,
three stories up and naked.
Our eyes meet across Second Avenue and I am frozen at my table.
She wraps herself in the sheer drapes
then peels some away, their satiny shine playing
against her coffee-with-cream skin.
Gliding her hand down her throat she smiles, showing
the tips of her teeth.
My wife says something as our waiter draws near.
The draped woman turns as if interrupted,
intruded-upon, then departs.
Only the drapes’ swirl and my spilled water betray our deed.

(For Jen Orlick and Kathy Shimmel.)
And as sunlight blushes our dawn
we hear fate spin its sleek loom—
clock ticks, clock ticks,
clock ticks, alarm.
Appointments, commitments, defeats.
Each day eats the other, eats the other,
eats the next, bleed.
Days bleed as need begets need.
Energy needs matter to matter.
Form become force as one
becomes all.
Becomes all for one.
One bleeds, all bleed.
Bleeding begets blood begets love
begets force begets energy begets
theft. Envy. Memory/Desire to be one,
to behold, to be held, to be.
Be as you are in my dawn, be.
Brush my cheek softly.
Turn off the clock.
Burn the calendar.
Beget time.
Just for me.  

Michael A. Griffith lives in Hillsborough, NJ and teaches at Raritan Valley Community College. He is the author of three chapbooks of poetry, Bloodline, Exposed, and New Paths to Eden (forthcoming). Recent works appear in Ariel Chart, Miletus Literature Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, and The Lake. AuthorMGriffith


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.