Tag Archives: Alcohol

LEFT BEHIND ON THE CONCORDE

LEFT BEHIND ON THE CONCORDE

You get to DC an hour and a half before you leave London
and Rod and I talked most of the way

Maybe it was the ‘69 Dom Perignon
they poured as soon as you took your seat
or the Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Pouilly-Fuisse
they served all through the meal

I do remember there were Arabs in
flowing white, and Burgess Meredith the movie star
and I showed the pretty brunette
my pilots license and got invited to the cockpit
where the pilots greeted me as brothers
even though the fastest thing I’d ever flown
was and Aero Commander 680E

Maybe it was the Taylor’s Special Reserve
twenty year old port they served with
the Cuban cigars (it was 1978 after all)

Maybe it was going more than twice the speed of sound
but I can’t remember a damn thing that either of us said.

THE BEER PARLOR

THE BEER PARLOR

Politics and weather

Little round seated chairs
no-one could have sat on
ten minutes completely sober

Little round tables
completely covered at last call
fluted glasses perfectly filled
to the well marked tide line
(no charging for foam here)

Smell of well aged
beer, barf and barn boots
but no matter, it was men only
and they didn’t seem to care

In the service of progress I guess
it was decided by the province
that each town could vote
on women being allowed
to enter these sacred halls

George, the owner,
a man of steady habits
and unshakable prejudices
thinly disguised as principles
said “If you vote for this I close the place”
They did, and he did

SUPPER WITH THE PhD

SUPPER WITH THE PhD

I sit across from my friend
and watch as he drowns
his well developed brain

Every day after work
he puts another million
brain cell kittens in a sack
and takes them to the lake

It is not for me to judge

This small death each day
may well have kept him from
the larger choice his father made

And a diminished capacity may help
when listening to the daily news
or hanging out with poets

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AFTER THE CHRISTMAS PARTY

AFTER THE CHRISTMAS PARTY

Antifreeze or whisky
too much or too little
and you’re in trouble

This is the scene
that you would see
if the swirling snow
would let you

A young man
in an old Fork truck
heading West at
three miles an hour

Driver’s window open
arm extended full length

Mittened hand holding
twelve volt spotlight
beam groping the ridge
along the gravelled lane

Two feet from death on one side
ten on the other, and happy

DRIVING ON THE TRACKS

DRIVING ON THE TRACKS

I think you are supposed
to take some air out
of the tires

It wasn’t something
that we thought about
gliding across the prairie night
with no one needing to steer
and lots of cold beer
and the throttle
(they had throttles then)
set at forty miles per hour

It is something we would
probably thought about
going across the old wooden trestle
that and the freights that run at all hours

Except that we were too busy
holding back our friend in the back
almost as strong as the three of us
in his full blown panic

Trying to leap
over the front seat
to grab the quivering wheel
to save himself, and kill us all

NORTH OF THE MEDICINE LINE

NORTH OF THE MEDICINE LINE

Given the theory
with some evidence
that the natives of this land
had about the same tolerance
for alcohol as they had for smallpox
and because someone “knew better”
they were not allowed to buy it

If your husband, although a member
of a supposed superior European race
showed a weakness for the drink
and a strong tendency to spend
the grocery money on the demon rum

You’d just go to the proper authorities
have him knocked down one race
quickly added to the Indian list
and barred from every bar

And there we were
children of the tolerant Swiss
eating nigger toes at Christmas
(we think them Brazil nuts now)
all thinking it all perfectly natural