The cafe walls are covered with pictures of flying parrots;
I take a table, rest my arms; the table gently tips.
A dozen strangers sit and talk, all they do is lovely,
and tea leaves circle in their cups like hawks above the valley.
i think i have been to that same cafe. ok they wallpapered over the parrots and maybe the hawks were sparrows sitting on cubed sugar, but otherwise, just the same. i think this illustrates how to effectively and elegantly set a scene / give location to a poem. it is tangible and realistic (the table tips)and at the same time it is another world. all they do is lovely. there are valleys, worlds in the cups in front of these perfect strangers. the actual poem here moves on to bullfighting and matadors and blood and deeds, heroic or not, and i think the contrast between this calm opening and the “great adventures” make this poem more interesting than it already is, to look through a stranger’s books and find worlds in there too. this poem is in mackowski’s The Zoo (published by pittsburgh)which actually is full of cool poems. i really enjoyed reading it and enjoy re-reading it. there is this sense of lightness and elegance. complex but uncomplicated poetry.