local_library Poet Inside a Helsinki Coffeehouse

by Kirby Wright

Published in Issue No. 239 ~ April, 2017

Love it when

You round that glass corner

Outside the coffeehouse

And lean your body

East by 90 degrees.


That way I can see

Your reaction

To the immediate future

Through expression and stride.


The briefcase you swing

At your knees

Offers and air of importance.


Your collapsed umbrella

Signals a predilection

For being prepared.


Our eyes embrace

Before you look off

Down Esplanadi cobbles.


You see me existing

On a different level,

Scribbling my notes

In a black journal,

Obviously unemployed

And courting depression.


We can’t all

Shake the world

The way that you do

Shuffling past Starbucks.

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Kirby Wright was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a graduate of Punahou School in Honolulu and the University of California at San Diego. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Wright has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and is a past recipient of the Jodi Stutz Memorial Prize in Poetry, the Ann Fields Poetry Prize, the Academy of American Poets Award, the Robert Browning Award for Dramatic Monologue, and Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowships in Poetry and The Novel. BEFORE THE CITY, his first poetry collection, took First Place at the 2003 San Diego Book Awards. Wright is also the author of the companion novels PUNAHOU BLUES and MOLOKA’I NUI AHINA, both set in Hawaii. He was a Visiting Fellow at the 2009 International Writers Conference in Hong Kong, where he represented the Pacific Rim region of Hawaii. He was also a Visiting Writer at the 2010 Martha’s Vineyard Residency in Edgartown, Mass., and the 2011 Artist in Residence at Milkwood International, Czech Republic. His futuristic novel THE END, MY FRIEND was published in 2013. He published SQUARE DANCING AT THE ASYLUM, a collection of flash fiction, in 2014.