Monday, October 6, 2014

poem of the day 10.06.14

jack and the giant jukebox

jack can’t get the jukebox to play
goddamned digital….he says

people are laughing at him
because they’ve been laughing at him for years

i just want to play a little grateful dead

he says it
it sounds like begging

we watch jack and the giant jukebox
that takes up half the wall in this place

it turns into a camera
white light is flashing throughout the bar

on the screen there are pictures of a frustrated jack
trying to put dollar bills in the machine

pictures of him squinting
pictures of him in a half-curse
jack’s jack daniels hat cocked sideways
his fat, red winedrunk face illuminated

it’s a status update, hashtag bonanza

jack says, if i wanted this kind of abuse
i could’ve gone home to drink

a few of us look at the glass of white wine
that he left behind for what seems like days now
then go back to singing summer wind

jack puts another dollar in the jukebox
it spits it back out
plays a song from its archives

as the telling pictures fade from the screen
and turn back into images of half-naked pop stars
puckering up for all of us saturday evening drunks

i don’t get it, jack says
i worked in computers for twenty-five years
but this….

my wife gets off of her stool to help him

last week in the liquor store
i paid for the rest of jack’s bottle of white
because he didn’t have enough change on him

when we see him on the street
we laugh and point and say, there goes good old jack

my wife gets the jukebox to work

a little grateful dead, jack says
sitting back down like a twenty-first century master

he takes a pull on his white
begins drumming on the bar

i can’t tell if it’s a jerry song or one sung by bob weir

but things are suddenly looking up
for us in here tonight

as the bartender sets two shot glasses in front of us
and says, the next round is on me.


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