Friday, June 24, 2011

poem of the day 06.24.11

last call for ivan

ivan
stands outside the
american legion on 78th street
eight o’clock in the morning
just coming off
third shift for
the transit authority
looks drunk
like he’s had it with the day
when i’m just beginning mine
staggers over to
a wall and lingers there
in his powder blue dead t-shirt
his red face catching the sun
slouched
looks like a man defeated by
the world
ivan
who liked to dance
in rooney’s pub
when the music came on
who liked his bottles
of budweiser
and shots of vodka
waves to me when i walk by
winks
gets a glint in his eyes
kicks a rock
puts his hands in his pocket
stares back
down the street toward
3rd avenue
where the bar
used to be
before it closed
and scattered us all
ivan
a hulking god
in the late spring sun
making me wish that
i was a painter
and not just some guy
with a job to go to.

3 comments:

Walter Bjorkman said...

death of another neighborhood bar on the streets of my youth - I know Ivan, might even have been him. - Great one John, there are still a few left, find one.

John Grochalski said...

Walter...yeah...Mooney's went down
last month. currently taking up a bar stool at JJ Bubbles.

Pat Tillett said...

Vacant lots and spanish bars. Everyone scattered to who knows where.
Everytime I come here, I leave with my memory banks going full blast. So many of your poems cut directly to a memory that is very similar. A different place and a different time, but the bars smelled the same.