Monday, September 24, 2012

poem of the day 09.24.12

talking poetry with the liquor store man

i ask the liquor store man if i can use his phone
but he just stares at me from behind his pulpit

the one that has all of  those scotch pints incased in glass

i tell the liquor store man that it’s important
the bus never showed
and my wife is waiting for me

i don’t own a cell phone, i tell the liquor store man
you got to find the humor in that in this day and age

but he just shuffles receipts and sighs
looks out the window at the rain that has drenched me
made me look like a lunatic

come on, man, i say, be decent
although i hate begging

i shouldn’t have to beg
because i’ve spent a lot of money in this store
since i started working in this neighborhood

the liquor store man and i both know that he’s been dressing better
since i came to town

he should be begging me to buy a liter of whiskey
but he doesn’t

he just rearranges the mini bottles
throws a few more in the plastic tub for good measure
as i look around the store, think about buying a bottle of wine
and walking home

i tell him that my wife will be worried

the liquor store man knows that there are wives all over the city
who are worried

he sells alcohol, after all
he sort of manufactures worry

you know me, i say
i’m a good guy, i tell the liquor store man
i’m a poet and you can look me up on all of the internets

that seems to work
the liquor store man grabs the store phone at first
but then he gives me his cell phone

thanks, i tell him
it’s a local call

he nods and grabs his laptop
watches me closely as i call my wife

i’d like to think he’s looking me up
that he’s proud to have a poet who buys liquor from his store

but he probably thinks that i’m just another drunkard
on a tuesday evening

another one who can’t get his shit right.

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