Monday, October 18, 2010

poem of the day 10.18.10

...back fron the los angeles/san diego area...poems to come.

tommy wolfe was right

haven’t been in this bar
for over a month

a man needs a break from a place
from time to time

but there is b.j. sitting in his stool
nursing his beer, his jack,
keeping a close watch on the time
because he has to get home to his wife and kid by seven

the joint is dead
very unlike the place for a wednesday night

bad music is playing
something the new bartender keeps calling “alternative”

it sounds like sludge
but maybe i’m just getting old

b.j. shakes my hand and asks me where i’ve been
i make up a story about working a lot of nights
but in truth i’ve been avoiding the place
drinking at home

one gets into less trouble that way

he introduces me to the bartender
she is wearing a spandex dress so tight
that when she walks away to get my draft

you can see her thong through the aqua-colored material

b.j. tells her that before she started working at the bar
i was the guy to talk to about music and books
then he proceeds to talk my ear off
about the new franzen novel

but i can barely hear him over the din
of bad music and the baseball playoffs

i ask the bartender if anyone has left anything for me
mona was supposed to return my books
a month ago, before she fucked everything up
by fucking everyone in the bar

there is nothing for me, the bartender says
so i drink my draft, listen as b.j. talks books

i notice how flirty he is with the bartender
wrapping his arms around her from over the bar
as they do shots
making her giggle over the smallest things

shit, i think, this girl is drunk

and b.j. is forty years old
with his three year-old kid and his faded rock star dreams

these two are a powder keg, doomed to fuck
on a lost weekday night

i have another beer
really look around the joint
and notice that everything has changed
even the pictures on the wall look different

i finish my draft and get up

b.j. asks me when i’m coming back in

i don’t know, i tell him
i tell him that i’m flying out to l.a.

cool, he says

then goes back to making time with the bartender

have fun, she says, giggling again

i step out into the night
it has grown much colder in the last hour
and i just hope there’s enough scotch left at home.

2 comments:

Lynne H. said...

Well how was the west coast.. lived in Monterey for many years.. loved it..

onto the poem.. damn i missed your logical words this past week and you did not disappoint today..

John Grochalski said...

Lynne...it's good to be back. Was in LA for the Bukowski exhibit at the Huntington Library in Pasadena. Went and saw some of his old apartments as well. Strange reading him all of these years and then standing in front of the place on De Longpre. Went to his grave as well.