What does your first sip of coffee during a rainy morning have in common with the the greater swirling cosmos?
Morning Coffee won’t give you the answer to that question. It’s a game poem, and as such it will more than likely encourage you to think upon this question and others, as is creator Animal Phase’s intention. Personally, I read it as a reminder of how easily we forget our place in the universe as we get lost in our daily routines. There’s a beauty in cyclical performance—which is present in the universe and in our daily lives—that’s difficult to acknowledge unless you step back and take a moment to pause.
Morning Coffee begins with one such pause. The hazy white ebbing around the screen suggests that your eyes are still adjusting to the light of the waking world. You’re sat at your kitchen table, staring out of the window to the loud patter of heavy rain, while a mug of inviting coffee sits within reach. Each sip of coffee broadens your focus as if a gradual awakening.
This act of expanding seems central to the structure of Morning Coffee. It’s a game that swells from dreary minutiae to an almost unfathomable vastness. You start in a very narrow and comforting huddle—unaware of everything except the rain and your coffee. As you awaken, you’re reminded of the pressures of time as you glance at the clock on your smartphone. You get up, and are then able to explore the contents of the small apartment, looking at paintings, kitchen sinks, and bookshelves; attempting to grasp a sense of place as well as a feel for the identity you inhabit.
The final transition takes place as you exit through the front door, car keys in hand. At this point your view escapes the body and sends you flying backwards through space, past its stars and planets and then further; alluding to the ever-expanding nature of the universe.
Animal Phase said that its intention with Morning Coffee is to “attempt to link contexts between our small daily activities and … bigger things.” This much seems obvious, but what will linger with you (as with most poems) is what these links are, and what they tell us.
Is Morning Coffee drawing attention to the beauty that surrounds us, small and large? Perhaps it is bleaker, pointing out the insignificance of our meager actions in the grand scheme of things? That much is up to you to decide. No reading is inherently invalid so long as it is conjured with well-judged thought. So go ahead, play it, and see what you can extract from its poetic structure.
Morning Coffee can be downloaded for free here.