Pudding

Stretched out under a
thick blanket at the end of
the work week I can’t

stop turning over
words that didn’t make the cut.
I am a soft touch,

given to false hope.
The exhausted silence is
broken by the cries

of our cat. Tea-time!
Tapioca pudding, black
tea, your warm cookies.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Portland OR and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at tom.develyn@comcast.net. D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at http://tdevelyn.com and other sites.

One thought on “Pudding”

  1. This reads as a sensitive reflection on poetry, love, adn loss. The piece turns on the tension of the poet’s self-description as ‘a soft touch, // given to false hope.’ The reader may stay puzzled by this throughout the poem. Such puzzlement led me to wonder if the poem is a poetic recreation for the reader of the poet’s self-doubt, regret, and longing, perhaps triggered by the cat’s cries. THe need-love of feed–the cat needs feeding, the poet reflects on the domestic eros of black tea, tapioca pudding, and warm cookies–is intertwined with the agapeic desire of spousal love. The poem thus takes the reader through a network of interweaving images that may take them to reflections on the mysteries of love and ‘self’ without reducing them to identity politics, sexual politics, or simple power but keeping open the images’ pathway towards taking part in the truly nourishing life of what enables all beings to be.

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