Friday, November 22, 2019


just another old man with a ponytail and a beard
in san francisco on a saturday night

they come into vesuvio’s bar
right after my wife and i order our second beer

otherwise we would’ve left

there are twelve of them
cramped around a table meant for six

they look like a fucked up last supper

or the type of shallow trolls
who have to go out drinking
with their dozen closest friends

it’s saturday night in america
and i’m not made for saturday night anymore

but i’m all the way on the other side of the country
and i feel like i need to get my money’s worth

before it’s vodka on ice in the hotel bed
watching MSNBC and FOX News duke it out for moral supremacy

these apostles are loud and ignorant

the dudes keep screaming “bro”
and the women just scream

there’s a lot of five slapping
and talk about being wasted
and bar hopping or bar crawling
and how they been at it for hours and…bro!

one of the women says, like, this is the bar
where, like, jack kerouac, like, wrote all his poems and novels

not true
…but what’s really true anymore?

besides, no one cares anyway

with fresh five-dollar pints
of anchor steam littering the table
and the next pub already in their line of sight

the truth is relative

when the waitress brings our second round
i ask for the check over the sloppy din

like i’m someone important and have to rush off

and not just another old man
with a ponytail and beard
in san francisco on a saturday night

binging my new pint
like some kind of anxious frat boy

almost choking on the beer
as those kids laugh and scream through their round

kings and queens of the bar

their relevance so glaring
that it renders me blind.
--John Grochalski

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