the dive poet

December 6, 2016 § 2 Comments

I used to see him here
wearing smoke
          monk like

          beneath 

          the honeyed glow 

          of backlit bottles
this was

before younger folks straggled in

driven by legend or curiosity
                – outer ring types

                who took up pitchforks 

                for pristine lungs and the fight

                for a longer measure of time    

                the scent

                of sweet pea shampoo could     

                linger about their

                as yet     

                            unweighted shoulders
the likes of these drove out the smoke 

as well as most of his kind

        out

        or home

        or mad
I’d sidle up to him

when the crowd was thin

and try the small talk
he’d be bent over a beer and notepad

all broken teeth and sideways glances

fingertips as yellow 

as the journalism of his youth
        he never offered up much
an opinion

on the home teams performance 

warnings against

misdeeds and miscalculations

and the debilitating effect

of unstructured thought

       it was enough 
he never talked about his work though 

and I never asked
which may well be the only reason 

he paid for a round 

         from time to time 
(c) 2016 Fred Whitehead 

 

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