old fart


bottles stand in rows, like a shooting gallery

ceiling high they resemble church organ pipes

bars are churches, you attend to contemplate

or commune with friends and celebrate life

or like me, simply to make human contact

over a beer, another word for holy water


not that I ever attended church, though

I once attended midnight mass on a promise

a Christmas gift wrapped in Chelsea Girl underwear

I endured the drone of tinnitus dirge and voice

the suppressed excitement in my pants

threatened to explode in a blasphemous rage


I’m older now, less well maintained, on the slide

those urgent needs are not so urgent now, anyway

girls in Chelsea Girl underwear don’t promise anymore

so I sit in the chiaroscuro light of Café De Spoek

the mirror behind the bar being all too honest

I’m an old fart doing an old fart thing


I sip my beer and dither, to talk or not to talk

interrupt someone’s brooding depression

impose my genius wit on their dull existence

I could put their world to rights, council them

tell them where their life went wrong

alcoholic advice from an out of control life


the myriad brand labels on endless bottles

life is not long enough to appreciate such efforts

but I’m at a stage in life where experimenting kills

like sex, it’s appreciated but can the heart take it

adventure is another beer, it used to be smoke too

but death loiters with intent, a mugger in the shadows