Blue Domino Cafe

say the woman is a storyteller
fox brown hair
a woman with eyes like forgotten treasure
a lacy pair of fishnets and
stilettos like steel moons

she’s a gypsy who lives on the
tipsy side of paradise
a beachfront hut, a tin can shack where
the sand meets the sun
a floating wooden frame beneath a
blue thatched roof and through a hidden door, a
cafe with 19 tables, a hidden story for every one

ladies and gentlemen, says the woman in a
voice like pixie dust and sweet perfume,
i think we all know that
strange days have found us
in this period of rabid uncertainty and fright
when it’s more important than ever to
seek comfort where comfort resides
in the solace of our own mystery, to be
compassionate with one another and
remember to keep on loving the
ones you’re with
*lights a cigarette and tosses
a string of magic beads at the crowd*

to the left, a lava lamp glows like
an electric tangerine
atop a bar made of palm fronds and seaweed
a book like a blue domino and a
great golden spigot overflowing with pale ale

the outside world is always competing
for your reservoirs of strength
that’s why i built this bar, she says,
kicking off those silver stilettos with a flourish,
with one foot back in time and
the other one tickling the sea,
endless spigots of strength and pale ale
for getting together and filling up your cup
when the whole world’s tapped out
*flips open the great blue book and
hands it to the bartender with a wink*

but you gotta start by working
backwards from your memory
backwards to a time before memory, that is,
to a memory before time when
all of life was sacred and all creatures were
possessed of their own magic
—back when loving was fun
*flips to an unknown page and smiles*

at last, she says, a
fairytale supposing the
beauty of all things
*reaches out her hand and
catches a lizard
snoozing on a lazy turntable*

“Peaceful Easy Feeling,” the bartender
tilts his top hat and turns the page
vibes like a friendly ghost


Like all of you, I’ve been feeling cut off from the normal flow of life lately. For the past week, I’ve had nowhere to go. Except the grocery store, really. No work. No gym. Nothing. I’ve gotten into a routine that consists of a morning workout (running, at-home strength training, and/or yoga), intensive reading, job searching, and tea in the afternoons, and a long, socially-distanced walk before dinner. Usually for an hour or two. 

It is during that walk that I make space for creative thinking. Turn my headphones way up loud and let the Eagles, Tom Petty, and Fleetwood Mac take me away. For the past three days or so, I was toying with the idea of a poem I couldn’t seem to complete. I had fragments: the metaphor of a “blue domino,” which I’d originally brainstormed about a month ago, an otherworldly female speaker, and the phrase “19 tables,” which arrived in my mind early Sunday morning. I was mulling them over during my walk last night, Joe Walsh’s “Life’s Been Good” blaring in my headphones, when suddenly I was struck by a thought: When you have no place to go, go to the Blue Domino Café. 

Right. So here we are. I guess this is my place to go while I—while we—have nowhere else to go. Thank you for visiting with me. Perhaps we’ll meet here again soon.

If you enjoy my poetry, you can find my debut chapbook, Seven Road & Other Poems, available for purchase on Etsy. Each copy is handmade to order and includes original, full-color artwork.

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7 thoughts on “Blue Domino Cafe

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