The Space and Slip Between Cup and Lip by J.W. Kash

You meet so many people in life. You hear so many promises and plans. Visions and ideas. Art and dreams. Oh yes yes yes. Words words words. I am guilty of these words and dreams. These grandiose thoughts. These hearty slaps on the back. I remember leaving a birthday party, for Timmy, on a Sunday afternoon. Timmy had passed out drunk on the roof the night before. Now Matt and I were driving on the highway, with Timmy’s sister’s thong hanging from the rear view mirror. We were high. The sun was shining. Summer air rushed in through the open windows. And I had the sudden conviction that I would study for the Virginia bar exam, and become a lawyer without going to law school. I was so certain this thing would happen. I studied hard for three weeks. Slip. I used drink a lot of Thai Iced Tea. But there was no place where you could find the beverage in a bottle. So I purchased thirty-three bags of the tea leaves online. Researched for hours. Experimented in my kitchen. Calculated the measurements. I had visions of factories. Giant, swirling vats. Trucks and deliveries. Loans from banks. I wrote out a proposal. Bulldog Tea, it would be called. Motto: Stay calm. Be strong. J.W. Kash. The businessman. Slip. Three months ago I re-read my favorite book: The Sun Also Rises. I decided I would write a screenplay. Purchased three books on the screenwriting craft. Decided I would tell the director he could butcher my manuscript as long as there was a three second shot in the movie of J.W. Kash running with the bulls. A rising star. Fearful of nothing. Nearly gored in the back. Hollywood. Here I come. Slip. Don’t get me started on relationships. A drink here. A smile there. A text message. A business card. A handshake. Should we? Should we? Maybe. Many beginnings. Many hopes. Many toasts. It’s my fault. I admit it. I get infatuated. Then distracted. Pulled in a thousand directions. I’m not spread thin. Oh no no no. I’m just a knife stabbing at the air, without any contact. Because even severed fragments of this poem were written in a fit of emotion and certainty, in a cramped room at 3am, eyes stinging, hands shaking, face burning, with that English girl on the floor below screaming at her boyfriend, three years ago. Lost in a notebook. Slipped away. Life washes away everything, if there are no limitations. If there is nothing to contain the ferment. So many people, like myself, lose and forget it all. Let it slip away in the space between cup and lip. We should try and bring the cup all the way to our lips more often. To see how it really tastes.

J.W. Kash manages a craft beer bar in Manhattan and lives on Staten Island. He has been published in The Tishman Review, The Galway Review, The Laurentian Magazine, and more. All of his work can be found on his website: