Tag Archives: beer

On This Cool August Evening

Business is brisk along Cicero Avenue on this cool August evening
Blue lights flash like a monochromatic carnival ride
Familiar smells of frying meat and grilled corn fill the cool air
The language up here dances around our heads like spastic butterflies
One simple kind heart reaches out with cool water and warm love
Urban hieroglyphics share a story primeval in sun-baked flesh

Business is brisk out here on Garfield Boulevard on this cool August evening
Blue lights flash like they’re rolling back the prices
Tinny – shitty music blares mercilessly but barely sooths the toothless tabbies
This scene plays over and over – night after night with little variation
It is cool tonight so that has to mean something – to someone – somewhere
It is cool tonight so everything is going to end well for those who let it

My Blue Body

My father brought my brother a beer
They left my blue body on the moldy mattress
I tried to get up but I couldn’t
They made up funny jokes about me being lazy
They walked away smiling

The Hero

I am like the angel-savior guy – he said to me
He was standing in line at the liquor store
He hoisted his twelve-pack of babysitting fluid
off of the counter and under his arm
It’s like I can take his kid to the park and buy him a hamburger
That’s going to have impact his life – on both their lives

The bottles were sweating inside the cardboard case
But I gotta use his phone – man – that’s how I work
I work with a lot of paper and stuff and the telephone
But I want to be a hero to this guy and his kid
If his kid recognizes me when I get there tonight
I’ll be the hero for the whole family

Mr. Phillies

Stubby finger caresses
the shot glass
vintage Phillies cap
contains the matted mane
more spaces less teeth
shriveled gums
sweat drips down his face
sweat drips down the bottle
soaking the cardboard coaster
cigarette burns stain
between the knuckles
My old lady never did love me

We All Laughed

We all laughed at the road worn jokes that line our pockets with foreign silver
We all laughed while the lady rolled past us – some never noticed her beauty
A few of us laughed when the same old tired lines still didn’t work – did they ever?
A woman laughed too loudly at a story told too softly by a man she hardly knew

“I got games,” he said to me and I set down my beer – Heck I like games
A back as strong as the old oak that sheltered the white church out on Route 12
I was too tired to argue and I like the games so I played – no beer in my hands
It was an old swindle – an old con – and soon he was working the room with fever

We all laughed at the muffled voice through the tinny speakers – old school
We all laughed when you couldn’t speak as clearly as you would have liked to
I heard you laugh while the pink beer cups refilled themselves – magically delicious
This guy – no one recognized him – laughs softly and talks to the men about love – life

The sign on the highway said there was an alert for a missing child
The sign said she was last seen in an old Chevy pick-up – white – twelve years old
The truck – not the child – they never said a thing about the child – the truck was news
Driving home I couldn’t be bothered – new construction – lanes closed

1:00 a.m.

Mr. 1971

A hard sharp glare from the little man
Sitting across the bar on Diversey Street
His leather skin is dark and
His salt and pepper beard is chiseled into his face
He looks like a negative from that old box camera I made in 1971
He is looking at me accusing me of some unnamed crime
I am drinking my drink and minding my business
Someone should buy the dark knight a drink
My green is a bit short tonight – bad week
No one bought me a drink all damned night
The younger ones – the ones with the strong backs
The ones with the regrettable piercings and tattoos
They have no idea what Mr. 1971 has seen
They crack their inside jokes and drink cheap beer
They stay just outside of his historical range
Never understanding his emotional depth – the fire inside
He sits there quietly until they walk too close to him
One glare they know to step back to their party
Some of the older men are smart enough to pay respects
I’m smart enough to keep my distance
I should buy him a drink but I won’t – not tonight
There is only enough green for whiskey and me

This is Not Glenn, Michigan

This is not Glenn, Michigan
But I am trying to recover the words
The words that we dropped into the water
On that late summer misdirected trip
Where all the girls wanted one dance
With the traveling wordman – the beer fan
But those girls disappeared into the night
Hiding in the dark between dances
And the words – for what they’re worth to me now
Have slipped away like the good German beer that
made this trip worthwhile
And the kid – the poet – the martyr to his own self-destruction
He found us a hotel room at the crack of dawn – hammered
He found us a place to crash – to hide from the unforgiving night
While I inhaled a river of the good German beer
Throwing the bottles out the window
To crash along the Blue Star Highway
I smoked one cigarette after another and cracked bad jokes
Come winter now and I miss the bubble machine
God – I miss Glenn Michigan
For all of the uselessness of wishes – mine is that I were there tonight
With the nameless sweaty girl who hid in the darkness
After every frantic dance surrounded by empty beer bottles
And I want to find the place where we finally let the words go
The place where the dark hairy men in the tiny bathing suits
Snapped our picture standing in the lake
There on the shoreline that recalled my childhood

August 2000
We never found our way.