Brew Bayou. The Venice Cafe. Mokabe's. The Oasis. The Grind. Sacred Grounds. The Mud Room. The tables were often unsteady, the chairs did not match, and the coffee was of uncertain quality. But coffee houses draw English majors into their dim, warm interiors to compose innumerable sonnets or free verse as they try to figure out life, love, and iambic pentameter. Within this collection, one such poet-narrator muses on those very topics as he sought to transition from youth to adult, and then he reflects upon those days when he spent those hours in coffee houses.

Buy Coffee House Memories from the following retailers:



Exploring, We Discovered Bee Tree Park....
Exploring, we discovered Bee Tree Park.
Tree branches laced like lazy fingers behind our head,
above the trail, above the naked rock,
where neon graffiti was worn to earthen tones.
The slow Mississippi whispered by.
Fingers woven like dreams and the night
before falling asleep.
Her warm palm pulsing, we paused
to watch the barges wander down
and sip the summer breeze.
Her voice murmured cooly in my ears,
she spilled her hair over my shoulder,
maple syrup dripping down my chest,
“This would be a great place to make love.”
I smiled, ruffling kisses through her hairs,
a butterfly on a field of clover,
and rustled in her ear, “We are.”

Okauchee Light
Across the dark Okauchee lake, a light,
the marker for the end of someone’s dock,
is strangely lit at nearly twelve o’clock
and breaks the solid black that is the night.
From here, across the chilling April lake,
through busy bar room glass I see that glow,
but life or rooms beyond I’ll never know.
One light does not a utopia make.
Quite like your smile, that single man-made star:
Up there, on stage, you flash a smile at me,
and crinkle eyes to give the gesture weight,
but like the dock-end light, you are too far;
your glow is there for someone else to see,
and now, for me at least, it is too late.

Fifth Floor Eyes
With bouncy strides of legs just lightly tanned,
you walk below my watching third floor eyes.
A gentle wind moves silently and dies;
you brush some wayward hair with careless hand.
Your lips, marooned with hasty morning care,
are framing hinted teeth in sudden joy
and move in greeting of some passing boy,
the words sweet notes unheard in summer air.
Your dark sunglasses never flash my way,
and you continue on toward a class,
or maybe to your dorm–I’ll never know.
For sixty stairs is much too far away,
so silently I let you swiftly pass,
invisibly about my way I go.

Back to top


None yet!

Back to top

About Brian J. Noggle:

Brian J. Noggle, I mean “I,” graduated from Marquette University with a degree in Writing Intensive English (and Social Philosophy). They say with an English degree, you can do anything; what that means, though, is you can work at any sort of dead-end job and spend your nights drinking coffee and dreaming of being a real writer. I did my share of that.

My other writing work has appeared in small literary magazines (Artisan Journal, Show and Tell, and whatnot), national periodicals (History Magazine and Writers Journal), and trade publications (The Testing Planet).

Back to top