One Caffe

Atlanta, Georgia

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I have spent cumulative weeks of my life sitting on the low circular brick planter (now sans sharp holly at its perimeter) in the Equitable Plaza within sight of One Caffe, formerly (briefly) Saxby’s, and formerly something I can’t even recall. I have little to say towards One Caffe other than if you are planning to take a coffee in downtown Atlanta it should be your only choice. The closest other options (Tilt, Danneman’s) are not technically downtown, and you will, during the day, on a weekday, find no exterior spot that is so thoroughly not Atlanta (robustly populous and alive) within the perimeter. It is a safe place for me, where even though my thoughts often roam amongst the rabble to my eternal question of whether I would have time to see my brains on the bricks before me if I were shot from behind or to the fragility of the social contract, I still feel ownership over the bricks in front of the stylobate I lean against.

One Caffe

There is little I can say of my visit today that has not been said in spots of virtually everything I have written in the last ten years.

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Excerpt from Chase Scenes 2008:

Far away again in autumn. The sunlight through a flat cloud as you stood on the sidewalk outside a door without a handle flat into the glazed bricks was quiet. The one week of the year had come across trees that had enough leaves on them to blot out the southern sun and the shade was warm enough to sit out in. You spent the long afternoon in a plaza downtown sitting on the swept bricks. In the absence of those faces you couldn’t retain your eyes filled with the white sky. You worked your way back through the mosaic, around cavernous voids that you could feel between your eyes and your skull where whole weeks had been handed over to some black vessel willfully, intentionally. You rock back and forth in the gathered up twine of time hanging down from Atlanta. In some phrases you are there, like now, under a sparse pear tree in the plaza, or slipping back down, not as a journey into that empty Valley, but a plummet, or a twinkling transmigration into a moment. When you began at the end, as a human destination with a trail let out behind it, there was nothing concrete enough to withdraw from but the euphoria of the continuing tides of the hotel, to step backwards from your death and gaze upon it from life. You knew the debris that ended every story. The same things with different connotations. You felt like a bronze cast.

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Excerpt from Marquis: A Post-Dated Picaresque Romp Through the Oeuvre of the work.group:

One Caffe

The Equitable Building with Roof Forest

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Excerpts from Chase Scenes 2006:

These little compositions generally are born more of their, no, of the conditions under which they are written, such as now, in front of the Equitable Building in Atlanta. The protesters are still here. Their first day was last Thursday, the afternoon I left for the trip. I could not focus at work that day, the impending air travel spooking me a bit so I pulled together all my gear with the intention of leaving for the airport straight from lunch. I sat out in the sun for about one and a half hours (1.5 hours) reading Titus Groan and watching the protesters. They stand against a construction company who is fitting out an office in the tower. I must confess that they bring little sympathy out from me because they appear so singularly disinterested. Each day there seems to be a foreman of some sort who manages the group, he is well-dressed and often has a video camera. The rest of the group appear as if they might be working for their lunch. They are not only an unsavoury group, they seem to have little or no passion for the cause, many listening to Walkmans or only trying to hand out leaflets to women. One of them is the short man who sells pirated DVDs on MARTA out of his backpack which he wears on the front of his body, either for ease of sketchy access or because he has been stared down by a mighty bison on the sage flats of North Dakota.

The man leafleting directly to my left just successfully obtained a woman’s phone number. Apparently she is “staying with her sister out in Stone Mountain.” I wonder, were I to ask the man why he thinks he is of value, not in any context, not ‘to other people,’ ‘to commerce,’ or ‘to the intertwined systems of nature,’ what his answer would be. Would it be different than my answer? What would my answer be, I cannot say. It would most likely be bloated and circular, meaningless. To actually answer these questions I think it is first necessary to answer a question, a fundamental question, does anything have value outside its capacity to perpetuate your own life, or to perpetuate other systems, and then, what is the value in their perpetuation? There is some of that circular logic I feared I would have no recourse to avoid and no ability to rise above.

One Caffe

I have been back from North Dakota for five (5) days now and I stretch my memory during this compositional process to recall episodes that I am neglecting. I believe I shall list them here for the sake of the remainder of the footnotes, first I should like to mention that the man leafleting just to my left was just barking very loudly like a dog. I wonder what sort of impression we used to make in the mid-1990s when protesting fur stores. We received a balanced share of positive and extremely negative attention. I remember one instance in front of Lenox Mall in Atlanta where a man in a pick-up truck threw a large piece of meat still on the bone out of his window at us, then proceeded to drive up on the sidewalk at us. And although we most likely looked like fools, I can be sure in saying that, at that moment, we all felt and exhibited passion for the cause we were standing for [I don’t know if I was inspired by the glances upward in the page where my mind may have trained on “sell out,” for I did mention in the note that “at that moment” we all felt strongly, because it was not long after this period of time that we were having regular protests that some of the most vocal animal rights activists began to do such things as eat meat or become interested in survivalism and hunting in the spirit of Ted Nugent, real roughriders and plainsmen, or whether the thread was inspired merely by the ineffectual protest being staged amidst my composition]. No, I shall not list the episodes for your sake.

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Excerpt from Roosevelt in Ruins:

Im sitting in the cavernous lobby of the Marriott Marquis again because it has grown so familiar to me, and although I have finalized a preferred route into and through its bowels, it still perplexes me, at the inception of the project I sat outdoors at lunch against that low brick coping in front of the Equitable building, the timing was ideal as the leaves had flourished all spring and summer on the scrawny trees but had not yet been shed by autumn, the temperature had settled to the point where I could bring my sweater but usually used it as a pillow to keep my lower back from getting gouged by the leading edge of the brick, the university was in session providing an interesting cross section of people to observe as they made their way around me, I spent equal time drawing and developing insights about the folks that strolled into Starbucks, dug through the trash, ogled each other, cut through the park, jaywalked, strained and craned upward at the tall buildings, and hollered into their cellphones, my efficiency ratio was low but the material was grounded in a buzz of life, in shared experience, at night I blazed through fragments of material alone that remained fragments reaching back into the day, but idly, and only in my head, alone they were echoes…

One Caffe


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One Caffe

84 Peachtree Street Northwest
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
http://onecaffe.com/


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is a compendium of literary, anecdotal musings on coffeeshop and cafe culture.
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