Sips: Commentary

I like the idea of our choices being like sips. We nibble ourselves to death in slow-motion suicides. We build mountains on our own backs made up of tiny, seemingly insignificant grains of sand. “It’s no big deal,” we say, and add another grain.

We struggle to conceptualize the consequences of such small choices. I think that’s what the sirens in the distance represent: an ambiguous, far-off dread, which we assume someone else will take care of. Meanwhile, we continue taking communion at the churches of our addictions.

And all this time we try to be better people, we try to be healthy, and we try to stay autonomous from all addiction and dependency. We strive and aspire, each of us succeeding at various levels. Originally, I ended the poem with only God being able to see our progress bars. I added myself to that special perspective as a grandiose way of showing how we can assume consequences only apply to other people, even as we sit in the very same temples and hilariously judge others with our own dumb gavels.

. . .


sirens in the distance
the cops are on the search
people flood the coffee shop
the coffee shop is church
the traffic never stops
the sheep are in a trance
hypnotized with Starbucked eyes
tattoos and saggy pants
shirts untucked with comfy shoes
some are reading Twitter
some are reading news

coffee cups go up and down
from tabletops to lips
some are jolly some are bitter
some are fatter some are fitter
some are leaving tips
each one dumb to consequence
their folly and their fritter
the froth of lifelong choices made
each choice just like a sip

they come in vans and trucks and cars
buying beverages and sweetened breads
oblivious to their progress bars
that only God and I can see
floating just above their heads

. . .

From my second collection “The Fundamentals Of Skywriting,” available here for a short while longer:

Dan Kent