Tuesday, May 19, 2015

poem of the day 05.19.15

john wayne, my wife and me

all saddle up to a bar
blocks off the reeperbahn

the place is full of three old hamburg drunks
who stop like a record when we walk in

my wife and i order an astra
john wayne takes a coke with ice
because they don’t have any budweiser

but the bartender is too put back
by our american skin to draw them

he just stands there staring at us
looking at john wayne out of the corner of his eye

one of the drunks lets out a moan
he points at us with his shaky trigger finger

john wayne says, we didn’t come for any trouble, partner
so put the gun down

then he gets off his stool to take a piss

the bartender draws our beers
let’s my wife and i get through half of them
before he starts talking

he says, america, you shoot them up?
cowboys and indians?

i turn back looking for john wayne
because he’s always better with this stuff than i am

i try to go through everywhere incognito
but my wide gate and the jingling spurs always give me away

i weigh the odds

three old drunks
john wayne, my wife and me

the bartender says
hey, america, you make hamburgers
but i’m a hamburger you can’t eat

then he laughs and the far off drunk laughs
the one near us keeps pointing and moaning

he says, america, bah
then almost falls off of his stool

when john wayne gets back i tell him what happened
i tell him we should’ve stayed home
gone and seen the grand canyon instead

but john just takes his coke down in one pull
lights a camel and says,

courage is being scared to death
and saddling up anyway

plus i know a place by the hotel that does ribs
better than they do back in texas

my wife and i finish our astras
we thank the bartender for his hospitality

he gives us a double-barrel shotgun farewell
then shoots down a shot of jaeger

as we ride off into the sunset
a chorus of their laughter
left behind us on the trail.


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