men standing outside the catch-22 bar
the boozy semi-circle
of bud light vapor
i know it too well
and obviously they aren’t discussing socrates
or china’s roll in southeast asian policy tonight
they’ve got tits and ass and violence
on their minds as always
whose ass it is they’ve got to hit or kick
from their shambling silhouettes
against the streetlights
i know that i’ve pushed down
pints of the green poison with some of them
back at a bar the nyc health board
had the good sense to close years ago
but it’s good to see people
keeping up with their hobbies in a new space
there is a sense of satisfaction
in the sameness of a city night
to tell the truth
i don’t frequent bars too much these days
i never really fit in when i did
with my college degree and steady pay
as if the desire to self-medicate
to the point of delirium
was an economic situation alone
it took those guys months
before they’d talk to me
and then it was about shit i didn’t care about
the NFL or cop shows
whose wife was ragging on who
or that muslim, foreign born president we had
in hindsight i missed the silence
which is why
i probably stopped going there
and started drinking at home
still i’m curious to see
what would happen if i walked in there now?
declared ain’t nostalgia grand!
caught the tailwind of the whisky they’d chugged
and followed those boozehounds back inside
found myself a seat in the corner
graced the confines of the catch-22 with my presence
would there be a sense of recognition?
a waltz of déjà vu?
a little of the old ultra-violence?
some hot tuna or the dead on the juke?
fox news out of every cattycorner?
or would it be a sodden fitzgerald type
sitting there telling me i told you so old sport
nothing but the wreck
of reflections in the barroom mirror
everyone and anyone
waiting on their deaths
or for the ghost joseph heller
to come strolling in.