My perfect cup of coffee

The first sip tastes like cigarettes, languid memories of teenage rebellion, winter mornings on the stoep with illusions of grandeur and tortured artistry.

The second sip burns my tongue. I chase the visions down my throat, close my eyes for the effect.

Sips three to ten are hurried, the cold sets in, the temperature drops, the need to finish and enjoy and experience all in all in all at once over and under all over the place.

Note the contents of this cup: ground Arabica beans inside percolator, scolding hot water, (but never hot enough, it seems) made in anticipation of my ritual Saturday visits to the bagel doctor. Free with my meal and made to my specifications: hot, black, bitter. Includes kindness and warm conversation. Makes life a little more bearable. Fragile, hot, handle with care.

The last sip leaves my mouth and insides warm and bright and alive. The shakes set in, I struggle to type. A million worlds in a single cup. Past, Present, Future, all working to remind me thus. It’s fucking great to be alive.


7 thoughts on “My perfect cup of coffee

  1. I read this again today, thought of it when I sipped coffee on my way home from a job interview. If I may say, when I read this the second time, I (personally) think that you should leave out “Note the contents of this cup:…” I say this because I feel like it breaks from the flow and ambiance of the poetry. You get into a rhythm of sips and then you write “Note the contents …” it’s like watching a funny advertisement and then having to read “terms and conditions apply.” The description of “ground Arabica beans…” is nice it’s just the “note the contents” part that I think should be done away with. I’d also start the piece with the description of the cup contents first and then the sips. Mind you this is just my personal take, don’t take it as gospel.

    I feel like your pieces deserve to be recited in front of an audience. Would you be offended if I did that at an open mic night and if people like it, in some of the small concerts I do? If I earn anything from reciting them, I’d give you half my earnings and I would never plagiarize – I would make sure to say that the poetry was written by annetjiese or whatever your name is.


    • That’s awesome, thank you. You’re welcome to read it to others, I doubt it’ll make any money. My name is Annetjie van Wynegaard.

  2. If I get around to reading it to others, I’ll do my best to record (aurally and if I can visually) so that you can see people reacting to your work. I was thinking of performing some of it as a suite – coffee, popcorn tree … and if I get more sophisticated, I’d love to design a menu and set some of the words to be read and performed with music underneath. I’ve done it before, it took a lot of organising, but it was totally worth it. Do you say your name An-net-tige van Wine-guard?

  3. Wow, you are serious. That’s cool. My name is pronounced: Ann-ah-key (like anarchy, but without the ‘r’) Van (fun) Wynegaard (Vain-ah-chaard). A German ‘g’-sound.

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