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Dinner In A Diner In Dansville, Ny
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Dinner In A Diner In Dansville, Ny

Poem By Charles Chaim Wax

When I left Brooklyn
for the Rochester Institute of Technology
I’d thought
no more
odd ducks
dwelling in their own world
here in the majestic rolling hills
of Western New York State
but not so
perhaps such a condition
simply the result of life
pressing too heavily
on fragile souls—
anyway one day
after photographing in
Stony Brook State Park
with my 8x10 Toyo view camera
I sat in the Cup and Saucer Restaurant
in small town called Dansville
ordered grilled cheese, fries, tea with lemon
old fellow next to me
asks, “Got any chili? ”
not waiting for an answer says,
“Not interested now. No. Not today
In the future. Well, maybe in the future.”
“We have it now, ” said the waitress.
“Cup of barley soup, ” he informs her
and puts in half a tin of milk
immediately sucking the concoction down
no spoon
other uses for that implement
filling it with sugar
dumping it straight-away into his mouth
followed by a glass of water
not finished
with his feast
put salt on his palm
and licked it off with his tongue
all this time clearing his throat
then sugar spoon
licking of salt
that done
to the toilet
exits five minutes later.
“Any luck? ” asks an old guy
no answer
just sugar in the spoon, water, salt
all the while clearing his throat.
I blurted out,
“Were you perchance
born in Brooklyn? ”

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Comments (2)

Charley Chan...reveling in poetic condescension in Dansville's Cup & Saucer- a prohibition to a bowl of chili? boost, boast, why not bolt to your physic class for a good physic, apparently constipated old men make you versatile-that old man you lovingly described isn't a soft palmed RIT'er, but I bet he's shown more respect in his worn out life than the philistine from Brooklyn-you've been on your knees to much lately boy, you need to stand up and be a man...don't make fun of the poor and put it to poetry-in Dansville.. begin again.... verse & poetry..... a soldier from Dansville died in Iraq last week-he died thinking of his old man in the Cup & Saucer....he died wishing he could be home in Dansville- where you been hiding? in the Cup & Saucer? ..Naw-