Mark Fraser: Day Three Hundred and Twenty Seven – Learning

Posted on November 23, 2011 by


Still learning how to be a writer. Or a good writer. Or, at the very least, a decent writer.

In a creative writing class recently we were given the following poem and asked to use that as inspiration for something of our own. We were allowed to use any part of it as a jumping off point. I’m sure you’ll agree that the poem itself is quite lovely and uplifting.

I’ll post my inspired work after it, but I’ve never done anything remotely like this before. I suppose what I’ve done is almost like a sequel to this, and I thought it would be cool for people to see the inspiration behind, and (almost) complete work that followed. I’m not going to pretend that what I’ve written comes close to touching the original in terms of quality though. It’s not a comparison, merely an exercise.

Recipe for Happiness Khaborovsk or Anyplace
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

One grand boulevard with trees
with one grand cafe in sun
with strong black coffee in very small cups.

One not necessarily very beautiful
man or woman who loves you.

One fine day.


One cold winter morning six months on
we meet in line for what feels like
the first time,
but nothing is new and nothing’s the same.

Some more black coffee, a new blend,
hands meet by accident,
cold and fleeting and scarce.

Over a greeting we share
that which brought us here
to this cafe, at this time.

Stars did not align;
that’s reserved for romance.

Then you brushed off with the triumphant scent of roses.
There are things that haven’t changed,
not even your hair.

Posted in: Mark Fraser