after midnight,
too much tequila
kicked out from 
the Bar Tropicana
my nose feels broke
taxis won’t stop – 
a long stagger home
down rain-swept
litter streets
and alleyways
I put my boot through the door
crashing the clock
to the kitchen floor
I stood it half-cock against
the ‘World’s Best Dad’ trophy
I bought for the kids to award to me –
so many years ago
the clock shows around two
but it’s probably slow
as the sun is rising
and while the day unwinds its eyes
mine are heavy – closing fast
blood from my busted nose
pours down my shirt
there’s a lump at the back of my head.
from another hurt
I never felt
I swill a mug clean
for bootleg rye 
and brush from my table
stale bread and cheese crumbs,
mouse droppings, toenail clippings 
they tumble, shimmering
like diamond snowflakes
to the threadbare carpet floor
my head is running low and slow
I’m wrestling thoughts of god or gods.
and life and death
and what I should and shouldn’t do
where I don’t or do belong
what to say and does it matter anyway?
I thought I’d pray but it came out wrong,
“goddamn you, god!
why won’t you give me a sign?
what did I ever do to upset you?”
and my mug drains of rye
and the mug fills again
and the sun stands tall
and the light hurts my eyes
and I roll a fag from ashtray butts
and light it from the stove
and the smoke buzz swirls my brain
and the walls melt
and the room dances
and the chair rocks
and the table dances
and the clock ticks
and the sun dances
and dazzles my eyes
and I…
recoil from the light
hours or minutes later
I wake up,
sprawled on the table
my top set’s dropped out
tobacco-stained plastic teeth,
lie puddled in blood and drool
the landing toilet is blocked
it stinks
I shift plates to the side of the sink
and pee
and lean over cups
upchucking my guts
and cough and retch
and cuff my mouth dry
and reach beneath the sink, 
for the next to last bottle
of what passes for rye
stored for emergencies
next to the bleach,
the clock shows two-ish
it must be fast.

© coolhermit 2023
Views: 464
critique and comments welcome.
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I can see you standing up and performing this.

The lines –

and my mug drains of rye
and I…
recoil from the light

must have the audience on their feet stamping with you.



What Bhi said. I see him stalking the room speaking this. Black cheap suit and fedora.

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