Russell Edson

(1935 - 2014 / Connecticut, United States)

A Historical Breakfast - Poem by Russell Edson

A man is bringing a cup of coffee to his face,
tilting it to his mouth. It's historical, he thinks.
He scratches his head: another historical event.
He really ought to rest, he's making an awful lot of
history this morning.
Oh my, now he's buttering toast, another piece of
history is being made.
He wonders why it should have fallen on him to be
so historical. Others probably just don't have it,
he thinks, it is, after all, a talent.
He thinks one of his shoelaces needs tying. Oh well,
another important historical event is about to take
place. He just can't help it. Perhaps he's taking up
too large an area of history? But he has to live, hasn't
he? Toast needs buttering and he can't go around with
one of his shoelaces needing to be tied, can he?
Certainly it's true, when the 20th century gets written
in full it will be mainly about him. That's the way the
cookie crumbles--ah, there's a phrase that'll be quoted
for centuries to come.
Self-conscious? A little; how can one help it with all
those yet-to-be-born eyes of the future watching him?
Uh oh, he feels another historical event coming . . .
Ah, there it is, a cup of coffee approaching his face at
the end of his arm. If only they could catch it on film,
how much it would mean to the future. Oops, spilled it all
over his lap. One of those historical accidents that will
influence the next thousand years; unpredictable, and
really rather uncomfortable . . . But history is never easy,
he thinks . . .


Comments about A Historical Breakfast by Russell Edson

  • (1/20/2008 12:19:00 AM)


    i loved this.russell is one of my favorites. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: history, future



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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