Wednesday, January 30, 2013

poem of the day 01.30.13

european cruise

the pub owner
makes it a point to come down the bar
to see us

says, where in the hell have you been?

i don’t have the heart to tell him
that we’ve been hitting the classier bar up the street
trading his green beer for english cider

drinking less, i tell him

which is kind of true
because the booze up the street
costs twice as much as the swill he sells

only i don’t feel any classier drinking it

the pub owner shakes his head
buys the white lie

but he lingers at the end of the bar
as if there’s more to say

tells us, i know what you mean
the wife and i just got back
from a 21-day european cruise

which is nothing like avoiding his joint
nothing like drinking in an english pub in brooklyn
and feeling cheated for paying more per pint

buy i’m buying it

i let him roll with it
because people have their own agendas
they draw connections out of thin air
and call it communication

i figure he’s looking for someone to talk to
about this trip
and he’s exhausted the other scholars in this bar

why not me?
i’ve been to europe

i’ve vomited in france
and i’ve vomited in spain

i gained twenty pounds on that trip, he continues
i can’t even button my pants now

oh, yeah, i say

i look down at his belly
wonder if he’s trying to tell me something
about my own gut

so i suck it in
and i push away the styrofoam dish of party mix
that he fattens us up with

think about walking the narrow street of rome
going back to the english pub

where no one bothers me about a damned thing

as he talks on and on
about the cheeseburgers and margaritas
on the boat

bloody mary’s
and shrimp cocktails by dozen

never once saying a thing
about london at midnight

or the inherent majesty
in the flaming orange sunsets
of madrid.


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