I scream into the lamp
pretend it’s my
microphone and
the empty room’s
really a crowd
of adoring fans
hanging on
my every word

Drunk Dialing

another night of drinking but
this time I’m thinking of you
haven’t heard from you in years
but I’m convinced
you’ve been wondering about me
and the last time I saw you
I remember
your hair was long and
kept falling down over one eye
and when I get home
I search for your number
finding it buried among
a pile of old Christmas cards
dialing past three in the morning
hearing it ring before
a man’s voice drenched with sleep
says hello and
when I ask for you
full of delusions
he says
who the hell is this
and I say
it’s Jim
my own name sounding strange
like it belongs to somebody else
the phone dead in my ear
and I can’t sleep
knowing you’re still out there
waiting for me to call

Last Saturday Night

I remember
I was talking to this woman
trying to tell her
how good I thought she looked
I told her we weren’t used to
seeing women like her around here and
it was just about that time
when he came bursting through the door
with this big wave of excitement
rushing in behind him
he was laughing and
talking really loud and
he started buying everybody drinks
we had all called him Buck
for as long as I could remember
I guess because
he never seemed to have any
but tonight he was throwing money around
like it was nothing more than sand
he’d gathered from the playground
over at the school and
he kept saying my friends
like he wanted to give a speech
but then he’d just laugh and
buy us all another round of drinks
he threw handfuls of quarters at people and
told them to go play
something good on the jukebox and
word must have got out somewhere along the way
because people kept pouring in all the time and
whenever I found my glass empty
another drink would magically appear and
at some point during the night
I thought I heard people singing and
I don’t remember how I got home

when I returned to the bar
on the following Wednesday
the bartender hurried over to me and
asked me if I’d heard about Buck
I started to laugh
thinking about last Saturday night
they found him this morning
the bartender said
I guess somebody went to check on him
because he hadn’t been to work for a couple of days
the bartender slid me a beer
then he said
I guess he hung himself in his garage
I already had the bottle to my lips and
I took a long drink

Saturday Night Sequence

the apartment
is crowded
when we
get there
takes us
what seems
like hours
to reach
the keg
setting in
the kitchen where
people gathered
around the
table play
quarters scream
with laughter and
the music
blares from
another room
people spilling
into the
hallway dripping
across the lawn
when the police
arrive everyone
scatters empty
cups and
broken furniture
and someone
nobody recognizes
passed out
on the floor
in the back

Gus slips
going down
the stairs
sits there
with his
head in
his hands
not wanting
to move
and people
just walk
around him
as if he’s
part of
the stairs
and not
some drunk
their way

when we got
to the restaurant
I went straight
to the restroom
and vomited
while the others
ordered their food
stayed in there
until Gus came
checking on me
to see if I was
alright I said
I was okay
and wanted
something to eat
rinsed the taste
from my mouth
looked at my face
in the mirror
before going out
to get my burger
and my fries

we found
ourselves at
Burger King
after another
long night
of drinking
and there
was this guy
who went
around to
each table
saying things
like I'll
bet you
I can stuff
a whole burger
into my
mouth or
I can eat
the rest of
your fries
in ten seconds
he was hungry
and broke
and didn't
want to ask
can I have
something to eat?

we were
to the dorm
from the party
when I lost
my balance
and fell
my glasses
flying off
from the impact
of my fall
and I just
lay there
looking up
at the sky
as Todd
picked up
my glasses
put them on
and started
around like
a blind man
and I didn't
care just
lay there
a little longer
as drunken
people passed
by us without
giving us
a second glance

I remember
the night
I went to
Annette's room
when I was
very drunk
Annette and
her roommate
had painted
their room
that day
and I fell
the beds
pushed together
in the middle
of the room
away from
the walls
and Annette
screamed at me
to get out
she was wearing
a long shirt
and looked
so sexy
that I wanted
to stay
but was
too drunk
so I stumbled
home alone

Wrong Place Wrong Time

it was a rough place
in a bad part of town
at two in the morning and
I don’t know what I was doing there
I guess
I’d had one too many and
didn’t feel like going home
but the big goon at the end of the bar
kept asking me
if I wanted to step outside and
I kept telling him no
it was way too cold and
I said
we should just stay here
where it was warm and
have another beer
but he didn’t seem to
find me very funny and
his girlfriend kept screaming at him
punching his arm with her tiny fists
come on big Ronnie
go ahead and kick his ass
don’t let him get away with that
until I wanted to reach over and
slap her across the face and
what made it even worse was
she was this sexy little thing and
I knew old Ronnie would try to do
anything he could
just to make her happy
so I ordered another beer
even though
I didn’t really want it
but I figured the drunker I got
the less pain I’d feel later on
when the girlfriend
got her way


one bottle of wine
five cans of beer and
I’m going to drink them
it’s Friday again and
I’ve been on vacation
this whole week
we’ve had good weather
but I haven’t gone anywhere
I never do
I like staying at home
it’s so much easier
that way
I don’t spend any money and
there’s nothing I need
I open the wine
tossing the cork
into the bottom drawer
o f my desk
I like saving them and
I see lots of them in there
rolling around
but I’m not sure how many
I haven’t counted them
for a long time
but later on
just for the hell of it
maybe I will

Last Call

it’s almost closing time and
there are just a few of us left
sitting around the bar
listening to one more song
rising from the jukebox and
as I finish my beer and
push the bottle away
I can’t help thinking about her
where she could be tonight
she never showed up and
it just isn’t like her
I mean
she’s always here with the rest of us
drinking and laughing and
tossing back her long dark hair
don’t get me wrong
there’s nothing
going on between us
I was just noticing her absence and
what the hell do I know
I’m too drunk or
I’ve grown too old
I don’t know
the faces look the same to me
but the names keep changing and
it feels cold in here tonight
I know it’s getting late and
the bartender’s
waiting for the last call
so he can clear the place out and
lock all the doors
but I need somewhere else to go
because I’m not ready to go home

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