Sugar, or: Cream

A Cleave poem

I dissolve like instant coffee
and artificial sweetener in boiling water
tasting almost natural but not really because it
becomes me, infuses my neurons
even as I recline backwards with greater force than caffeine
upon my spinal cord ever did
pensively, even more so than when I
drink Black Label Brewed Coffee and wake up to
write poetry

How to read a Cleave poem?


  1. Read the left hand poem as a first discrete poem.
  2. Read the right hand poem as a second discrete poem.
  3. Read the whole as a third integrated poem.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

44 thoughts on “Sugar, or: Cream”

  1. Nice one,
    I personally love the sound of brewing coffee
    But this instant was necessary
    So you can dissolve into writing poetry

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