Monday, June 16, 2014

poem of the day 06.16.14

bridge and tunnel to nowhere

she’s the loudest one in here
she keeps shouting to seth
seth! oh seth, do you know me?
do you remember?

seth serves booze to a hundred people a night
five or six days a week
twelve hour shifts on the weekend

he shrugs, okay i guess i know you

she says, i want my regular

seth pours her the first bottle he grabs
something sweet and full of alcohol
which she, her girlfriend
and their two dullard husbands chug
after toasting to life

then they shout away and order a round of beers
before going off to infest the rest of the bar

jersey, seth says to me, bridge and tunnel people
as if that should explain it all away

it only gets worse with them
she attacks the jukebox with her husband
they find the worst stuff on it

1980s top-40 pop
the music of their glory years

then they sing over music
that should already be dead and gone

seth! she shouts
seth, pour us another round!

and shots! the other dullard husband says
which causes them all to whoop and scream again

they gather around my wife and i
to consume to second round
to talk such inanities as kids
and mortgages, jobs, and time square trinket shops

her husband is proud of his bubba gump hooded sweatshirt
he’s showing it to all of them
and they decide to toast shitty movies from the 90s too

i tell seth, this is horrible
if i wanted to be tortured today
i would’ve gone to work

i’ve seen worse, he says.  much worse

and i’m sure he has

when the bad 1980s pop music stops
i get up to go and play a few tunes
before they get any brilliant ideas

i think to play whatever will get these people
back on their bridge and tunnel to nowhere

some buzzcocks, some kinks, or maybe beethoven

but while i’m standing at the jukebox
this fat apparition appears behind me in the warped glass

it’s the husband
in his red shirt wearing his red hat
from a red college in a red state

you playing anything good? he asks
which is so fucking ironic that i want to spit

tell me what you hate in here, and i’ll play it, i tell him

there’s a pregnant pause
but then he laughs out loud
and slaps me on the back
like i went to rockefeller center with him that day

before going back to give them all a story
that really isn’t a story

but maybe something that they can toast to
should they still be standing
by the next round.                                             

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