Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pub Night

This is quite possibly the strangest piece I have ever written. It's inspiration comes from listening the music of Tom Waits.

But don't tell him that...

 This tattered old barstool is home
to the back end of this tired poet.
Surrounded by whiskey voices and cigarette singers
every day is thanksgiving as I enjoy
some wild turkey.
Oh, I'm happy enough to chat with you,
but if I had my druthers, I'd stay far away
from your breath that will strip paint or
make me gravely ill with the second hand
exhalation of carcinogens.
The bartender wanders over and gives me
a look that says I've had enough.
I tap the counter with two fingers, typing
out my order in staccato
        it a
An impatient lapse of time between
empty and full, a glance around the room
reveals a cloud of smoke harboring
the secrets being hidden by the drinkers.
The green felt on the pool table runs into
pockets which hold no balls.
The vending machines sell smokes
and protection against the nights that see
too much booze get consumed.
The jukebox is lit up like a Christmas tree,
but its voice is not heard. Instead,
a raven haired angel plays the spatula
against the strings of a pink
Fender Stratocaster
And the mirror behind the bar
reflects an old poet whose
words start to get slurred.
Stop the terrible music,
there's poetry to be read.
For this poet will write, even through
the haze of pollution and the
caterwauling of a bad singer.
That's the goal for this night at
the pub. To pen some thoughts,
and find the muse at the bottom
of a dirty glass.
Leave me alone,
you drinkers, players and
gravelly voiced singers.
The words are flowing faster
than the bottle is emptying.
Yep, this old barstool is
The words that are written
inspire more...and conspire with
that wily old turkey to keep me going
for the rest of the year.


  1. This is really good, it is different from your usually style but I like it! You created an atmosphere and a story, I’ve never been in such a situation yet I feel I have, I love the lines:
    ‘And the mirror behind the bar
    reflects an old poet whose
    words start to get slurred.’
    ‘To pen some thoughts,
    and find the muse at the bottom
    of a dirty glass.’
    Great poem

  2. Can imagine the scene very well from the perspective of alchohol and cigaretts – which makes it better than you might think, because I neither drink or smoke. I like the inclusion of “caterwauling” … sometimes the stranger the poem, the more honest it is… though, I didn’t find it strange at all.

    Poem on …

  3. Interesting and true how acute your senses remain and perhaps enhanced when drinking. A very real senario. I was there.

  4. lots of very cool imagery and word choices here. I consider myself a music aficionado and am a bit embarrassed to admit I cannot recall a single Tom Waits song right now, I can here the voice, and I can recall the cole porter cover he did on a compilation I have, but darn, don’t you hate it when you go blank. This is an outstanding piece, really enjoyed. Thanks

  5. You sure have given life and mood to this pub. I laughed at the part about the bad breath, but could picture the guy. And the smoke clouds. And the secrets hidden by the drinkers…. Very evocative writing.

    (I sure am glad our restaurants and bars in this state are smoke-free!)

  6. smiles…to write in an old pub…i bet i could find quite a bit to be inspired by…might be a nice escape for a bit…you def captured the atmosphere…

  7. some truth in this even if you think it strange..