Bottle Apostle


Apostle Bottle

my pain can be explained away

in bars only so many times
it blurs into an endless smear
oily floors broke-back chairs

stools half an inch off centre
bartenders wipe wet circles

with easy disdain

the pain loses focus but not intensity
it gets transmuted
the complexities of lives with people
whose pain canʼt be contained
by the clink jostle of bottles
clustered in fridge clutter
tubs of something ends of cheeses
or by boasts of what lies ahead
from compulsive liars
their story constantly changes
they canʼt keep their words in check
about new bloody nosed adventures


from pillar to pub
from postgame to predestination

my pain can’t be explained away in bars

because it keeps coming back to roost
as I try to get up to the next spot

where things will be different

new bartenders new glasses
new windows of opportunity
bringing home the bacon
or whatever his her name is
to fry a while between the sheets
trying to spark reality

out of bruised lips

thick tongue probe for the one true love

slur words of unchangeable fidelity

to each smiling indifference


there is a way out for some
subtle acceptance of other steps
away from the merry go round
of one round after the next
away from explaining problems in bars

into a strangely well lit territory
hand shakes coffee grounds
clear eyed people
who donʼt explain away their pain
but share that it can be endured
rather than submerged or replaced
by the endless gasping

open mouthed gape

of the apostle bottle

04sofa01Apostle is one of the few pieces I’ve written about being a drunk. Like many of my pieces it started with that those opening lines – the why of drinking for many people is to sooth some hurt or to stop feeling some hurt.04sofa09I enjoyed using various ‘round’ images – like glasses are round – like how we buy a round of drinks – stools, wet circles more rounds. The circular nature of solving the drinking problem with another drink. I also enjoy the sonics that run all though the piece click – jostle – clustered – clutter. The fridge an echo of the first piece in this chapbook.

Drinkers may start with the truth but its value soon vanishes when the results aren’t as good as the feeling of tricking people with lies – it allows a sense of superiority, as longs one can keep track of the story being palmed off after you fry between the sheets.04sofa03Usually those tales were meant to lead to tail – bringing him that ‘piece’ of bacon, meat. The over emotionality of drunkenness – the body is less sensitive, so is the brain so emotions have be larger to even be felt – that spark has got be the love of one’s life.04brownchair09‘hand shakes coffee grounds’ brings the notion of recovery into the picture. This is the social context of AA – one way of escaping that endless circle of one more drink will fix it. Ending with the wonderful rhyme and image apostle bottle – reversing the words gives me bottle apostle also powerful – that belief we searched for liquid resurrection.


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2 thoughts on “Bottle Apostle

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