Last Night Out

This is a poem I wrote some time back when I was very keen on poetry and a big fan of Charles Bukowski. I guess you could say this is my “Charles Bukowski” poem. What’s funny is I wrote it for an assignment in a poetry course I was taking at the time at Ryerson University. The assignment was to write a poem constructed around the following line: “a little too tightly as always; as always.” Anyway, hope you like it.


The whole crew’s here, laughing it up

like tomorrow might be closed

for good, like this night’s

gonna last for goddamn ever.

And man the music rages, palatable & obnoxious,

rolling over us with bottles clanging

and the boys

singing with the strippers, cigarettes

dangling and money out

like we mean business.


Roman, with his crewcut and thick,

fractured accent, telling me about

biorhythms and how the Japanese believe

this and that, raising his glass

to this great f—ing country and the redhead

in stilettos behind the bar.


And Alex, as usual, trying for the stage,

screaming how he’s gotta have her that’s

just how it is, bawling in his beer

how his wife never puts out

any more. What’s a guy to do? The bouncers

slither over, all grease and determination

– even their haircuts have an attitude –

slipping knuckles like syllables

into each quiet word of warning.


But by now I’ve had

a belly full of ‘em all and a belly full

of booze to boot, not listening,

just eyeing the girls

with their seven $ smiles and

flimsy Victoria’s Secrets

barely concealing

what I have on my mind.


Then Mark starts in, twelve pints his number,

bellowing crap like how good we got it

in this shit-hole world and shit-hole life,

like how it will never end – never,

as if he’s trying to convince someone

other than himself.

His arm circles my neck

a little too tightly as always; as always

hanging on to keep from falling down or finding

out how small all this really is.


Me, I’m smiling, laughing away

the night, hiding behind a pint

of courage and a clever line with the rest of these

bandits, these wannabee big shots, acting up

like we’ve never actually held money before;

desperate kids scrambling

to get our pockets as light as air

as soon

as possible,

scarfing down whatever

they have the nerve to put in front of us.


And later, when someone’s holding Darren’s head

out of the toilet while he makes his donation

and prays to god, when last call and any chance

to bag a stripper has gone way

way by, I find myself drunk and alone

in the saddest hour of night


wondering what I’m gonna do

two bucks light of cab-fare

and long past the point

of caring.

This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Last Night Out

  1. aswirly says:

    You paint an incredible picture! I can totally picture and feel the scene. Autobiographical? 😉 lol. I love how you fit in that line “a little too tightly as always; as always”. It fits perfectly! Love it.

  2. milkayphoto says:

    As with photos, you have a way with the written word, Dave. I can almost smell the desperation and longing of the boys, trying to fit in and be cool and wanting to forget whatever it is they need to. Heavy stuff, man. Heavy stuff.

  3. davecandoit says:

    Thanks so much, Amber and Tracy. I’m glad you appreciate it for what it is. As for autobiographical, well, there is a ring of truth to it. Each person named is real. Mark was my best friend and headed up one of the crews in my construction company. I won’t go into detail further, as I’d rather the story stand on the strength of the poem alone.

  4. uncoveringyou says:

    Do your talents never cease?? This is AWESOME f-ing writing!!!!
    loved every bit of it!

  5. y says:

    i love the assignment, so had to go for it:

    between the first
    and the second,
    kiss, when anything
    can be anything,
    we lean into each
    breath, pressing
    time a little too
    as always;
    as always,
    time loosens its
    jaws, exhales and
    stretches the moment
    in full suspense
    like the world’s
    greatest bubblegum
    bubble blower
    savoring the sweet
    taste of your
    pink mouth

  6. davecandoit says:

    LOL… Boy it must be early. 🙂 I missed it altogether. Sorry. I was reading before my shower and coffee, never a good idea. 🙂

Comments are closed.