‘a bar room floor’

Digging into my archives I found Linger, a piece from sometime in 2000. I pulled it up last week to include with my Music Monday blog as it seemed a good companion piece with the Allman Brothers. But the more I thought about it the more I realized wanted to say more about it. (more about those archives: https://topoet.ca/2013/12/13/resurrection/ )

shelf icy shelves

It sprung from the prompt Linger. Like many of my pieces it rattles off a series of images, these, in some bar. Fragments of conversations, of expectations, of the bar itself – so it is a list poem that has a thread of a story, a story that is told as the list unfolds.

menu icy specials

Some of it reflects my own boozing days – something I haven’t written much about as it holds little or no glamour for me. At readings if you want the crowd to be ‘with you’ sing the praises of booze or grass and you are sure to be a success. I haven’t written much about recovery either, mind you, mainly because nearly everything I’ve heard sounds belaboured.

dizzy I see upside down (get me another drink)

Linger manages not to be overly sour about things while not making the drinker’s life seem all that engaging or satisfying either. We all get caught up in something that seems productive but ends up being a distraction. Even sober people get caught in the chase for relationships as a way to avoid loneliness and never question if what they are chasing is the solution to what they fear.


April 21, Monday – featuring – Lizzie Violet’s Poetry Open Mic at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club – 7:30 – doors and open mic sign up, 8:00 – start – 54 The Esplanade, Toronto https://www.facebook.com/events/1379693865637955/

amflyerjpg copy

April 27, Sunday – attending – Julie Czerndea Workshop http://chiseries.ticketleap.com/chiseriesworkshop-julie-czerneda/

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words


June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/

the power of attaction

the power of attraction

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com



a bar room floor

unswept reflections

broken glass

discarded cigarette butts

casual meetings

momentary exchanges

the flutter of hearts

hopes ice cubes


glass fragments

shards embedded sparkling

the overhead light

candle wax drips

shoes scuffed gum stuck to the rail

the juke box

moans glows cackles in a corner

toilets nearly flush

eyes nearly meet

expectations almost lived up to

the next drink will do the trick

amber bubbly

glasses dingy from so many washings

expectations dimmed by so many opportunities


TV flickers

the slow revolve

as the body turns from the bar

towards a door

towards something   to someone

a smile

then nothing

not even silence

as the sizzle of sports

takes up the excess

slips between

so there are no awkward pauses

till the bartender

looks for last call

looks for tips to overflow

his shallow bowl

finds peanuts

crushed pretzels

heels rub sore calves

small rips in the upholstery

frequent faces

the linger of come hither

the laugh of ‘who you looking at’

the times we find

ourselves walk by

get drawn in   spit out

choke with the smoke

rock in the chair

find the bitter talk

just the thing

to rub the edge off life

rub the gleam off the moon

dull the stars

in the daylight

the windows are still dark


washed polished rubbed clear

the dust floats in the air

never settles

never moves just hovers

frames the idle hands

as they finger the empty pack

as they draw a heart in the sweat of the bottle

in the sweat of the moment

in the evaporation

of a pay check next month’s rent

in the twinkle of an eye

piss away that promise

forget who it was

where was who sitting with who

did someone promise

to be there

to met someone

to sleep with so and so

or with so and such

how could you do that

did you know

got an ounce of the best

the cheap asshole

how could he do that

how could he let him get away with that

broke his jaw ha ha he was just asking for it

he didn’t deserve him anyway

lost his job

lost his life

found dead in the alley

went back to the east coast

made a killing

went to jail

got lost on the way

found no way out but here

faces the morning

but couldn’t face the day

without seeing the face

my face any face

an unswept reflection

in the sawdust on this floor

medec13twitter @TorPoet

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