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.
LAST NIGHT OUT
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Do your talents never cease?? This is AWESOME f-ing writing!!!!
loved every bit of it!
LOL… I am SOOO glad you liked it! Really! 🙂 Thanks a mil’.
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
time a little too
time loosens its
jaws, exhales and
stretches the moment
in full suspense
like the world’s
savoring the sweet
taste of your
Oops, that’s not the line. It’s: “a little too tightly as always; as always.” But it’s still a great poem anyway. 😉
what do you mean? i thought i used the line.
LOL… Boy it must be early. 🙂 I missed it altogether. Sorry. I was reading before my shower and coffee, never a good idea. 🙂