morning ritual: coffee, cigarettes and song

by Shane Signorino

the rooster crowing coffee is black as street gravel patch and thicker than memphis
molasses pie. sweet, so very sweet. doctored to the brimtop with pink nymph sugar
dust and mother’s toasted almond milk. the cup. the loving cup. the lucky loving cup.
powdery beige with jagged brown tagline: damn i’m good! and good is just how i be
feeling while swallowing the morning’s first dark chocolate, hot tonic, right as ragtime
or juarez rain. in a lithe conman’s sleight-of-hand, trading the hot as alabama asphalt
coffee mug for one, pure american spirit cigarette. lighting the tobacco turtle-heading
from the tip with the backside of a lightning bug. or maybe the cheap, neon green gas
station lighter. burn it down to sup the badland indian smoke. hold it in like the ghost
who just ain’t quite ready to be exorcised, then release it into the autumn fog, sending
the wayward specter homeward bound. on the pawn shop record player, vinyl spins
like a thin black snake moaning, soul singing my morning song by mister crowe’s garden.
soul singing to me, little ole me. beckoning me to singsong along. begging me to trance
dance down to the seven seas bearing a ruby ring. good old timey organ key tickling,
ragtag banjo picking, splintered wood guitar strumming, mad latino congo drumming,
three african mamas with their rafter-cracking choir hallelujahs. and one hippie mystic,
southern fried in blues, funk, soul, and rock-n-roll, harping himself silly while howling
said dizzy found me last night! i saw some kinda new light! said i woke up in a whirl-
wind! say baby, just you watch my head spin! said the spectacle that makes you cry!
time for the feral morning. time for the itchy feet song. time for the new day dream.


Shane Signorino is a poet/actor/director who is enrolled in the SIUE Poetry-Writing program. He dedicates this poem to the majestic and cosmic blues-funk-soul-rock-n-roll band, The Black Crowes.