Full moon moonshine

Drank got drunk stumbling beneath the blurry pair of pale faced moons.

Sip your gloom away the screaming crowd cries swaying.

Slouch down in that old blue lawn chair with your smoke soaked sponge lungs and watch her move so slow above you.

Weeping wine stained lips and tongues paint poetic portraits more precise than presidential speeches, only to wake up aching in the blinding bright hungover morning.

Memory empty like the shattered bottles scattered in the side yard.

Old habits die hard they say, so we drink away another day the same,

Only to wake up again to the next dreary tomorrow.

Patrick Sangeorzan

 

Ode to a Shit Hole

Your restrooms stink

Your barmaid’s flabby

Your owner’s a fink

Your winos are stabby

Wanna talk about trouble?

Wanna talk about fear?

Then pour me double

And let’s talk about here

So many better bars in town

And I’d tell you to go to hell

But I just sat down

And I fit in so well.

—Tony Patch

 

Drinking Raw

You dear strange

little souls

bigger than the world

tied to its nods

dreadfully busy

I drink

I laugh

I run away I run towards

my dear true self

blurred vision

not enough hallucinations

to keep my head above water.

There was nothing left to do

but drink on a freezing London night

on the bus and starving for food and truth

I drink not to starve

I drink to fall in love with lies—

society and lovers and delusions

everything is one and I am many.

I crawl up and down some hills

and mud and planets,

Where is my bottle?

Sore throat and empty stomach

I run to the bus nearly sobered up

brief moments of clarity

painful elements of being

I don’t need to be reminded

the rawness of things

I can see the bus my bottle on my seat

nearly saved I decide not to jump

rawness has taken over

I drink from it.

—Ella Valeree

 

RUM

I’d toast our inviter

To this debauched all-nighter

But he was arrested

An hour ago

And I’d raise a glass

To the guest of honor —

Alas

He went AWOL

After a shot of pernod

I’d sing praises to the guests

But they’re be praises useless

As I’ve misplaced

Every sodden and miserable one

Is there a single recruit

For an alcoholic salute?

Well there’s the whisky

The gin

And the rum.

­—Max Sparber

 

Feeling Like Being Dangerous

these fingers read

the braille of knives

on the topside

of the scarred bar

where absent slivers

of memories

pool

with spilt whiskey

these days

i must

exhibit

control

i confess

i bite my tongues

all of them

teeth to fist to liquor-limp prick

count yourself lucky

here in this gin-dim lamplight

this balled fist holds

a beer

and not any number

of sharp fuck yous

i’d love to stick in

your ribs

—Taylor Gould

 

Double Vision

Two of you

is more than enough

for inebriated eyes.

—Chris Butler

 

A Place at the Bar

I spurn your tables

Those grim islands of exile

Those echo chambers of assholes

Frail ships afraid of the shore

It’s the bar where I belong

Broad and true

The beachhead of heroes

Beer taps like tank traps

And bartenders booming:

“Follow me! I know the way!”

Until you get wounded

Then the fuckers push you

out to sea

like a broken Eskimo.

—Tony Patch

 

Seasonal Drinking

The Rieslings and mulled merlots

Of Christmas make me blush.

The scotches of deeper winter

Blur me beside a friend’s small fire.

The clear rivering beers of spring

Pour a lazy hour in the breeze.

The juniper daze of gins bring

Summer, and its long, sad light.

—Ernest Hilbert

 

ALL MY GIRLFRIENDS

Your mother asked me to find you.

She was dressed in that old housecoat,

coughing up huge gobs of guilt.

It was pointless to argue.

The new fallen snow impeded me not

since a booth at the nearest bar

was occupied by yourself.

I saw that you were unhealthy,

had the dimmest of prospects.

You offered to buy me a drink

but the look in your eyes said

you had given up perhaps as far back

as the eighth grade when Miss Clark

asked you to name the largest continent

and you said, “Australia!”

—Colin James

 

What’s your pleasure?

Dry martini, desert dry

Gin, with a splash, or just whisper “vermouth”

Invest in the best you can afford

Dividends yield a better night, a better morning.

 

One good olive, no splash,

Save the holy water.

 

Or lemon peel,

Twist to form a surface rainbow

Simplicity, elegance.

 

James Bond is wrong.

Shake: the pure liquid clouds.

Add ice, stir, strain: A crystal clear, burning cold nectar.

Eileen Hession

 

 

untitled

You woke up with a hangover.

Everyone woke up groggy with

red eyes feeling blurry,

even those who never touched the stuff.

Infants were spared,

but anyone over 3 years old

needed medicine.

The pigeons were laughing

speaking Spanish, whistling

at girls walking by.

A dog was giving palm-readings

at the street corner.

Cats melted away,

only their calls & paws existed.

A man named Ikol walked

the middle of the street naked

calling everyone to join him.

Someone brought my attention to

the Sun and when I looked up

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…

—William Jackson III

 

Hair of the Dog

Old Harry Scofflaw

was bit in a place raw

by a dog he’d thought rather friendly

 

The disease that it spread

ran straight to his head

and left him all throbbing and mangly

 

Into the morning he staggered

through light sharp as daggers

to hunt down his cure quite grizzly

 

Back to the local

where the mutt was so social

he called with a voice cracked and gravelly

 

“Come here you old scamp

last night we were champs

but this morn we meet just to heal me”

 

And with a shot and a pour

from the tail he tore

the two hairs that cured him chemically

 

So take heed those who might

be with dogs in the night.

The disease is the cure repeatedly

—Don Bosko

 

 

Our Early Nights Were Late

Our early nights were late, dark, small, crowded

In that bar that was more like a hallway

Before smoking was a crime

And driving drunk was just a way home

Like any other night

That bar might have belonged to our uncles

It was family

We all were

You and your friends owned it long before I arrived

But then there I was, related by way of love

And alcohol

 

In our early days, we filled the house with smoke

Dog at our feet, sun far from rising

I dragged all my furniture over

Kept you planted in whiskey

Meanwhile people just showed up and stayed for the party

Which seemed to keep on going

It was always happening

 

At some point we cut out the cigarettes

But the waterfall of booze carried on

A geyser in the kitchen just waiting

Like a dare

 

I want you to come home now

Because I’m ready to play our favorite game again

—Elyce Barrigan-Dunlop

 

 

Snowflake

There is an amber reason

Full of cheer and death’s head moments

While we fight and die and love

That burns the skin of truth

And floats

Eye level,

Bloodshot and proper

With shaking hand and twitching heart

To make us whole again

So, we raise our glass, filled with burnt umber

A fire in the throat of night, lightning-split and heart-felt

Like home, like hearth, like an old friends seen again

This tumbler full of whiskey- this breath of life

—Nick Plumber

 

 

The Cocktail Snob

You call this a selection of whisky?

And where is your Old Tom Gin?

Your collection of bitters is lacking,

And your cocktail menu’s a sin,

How dare you call this martini?

With vodka it’s called kangaroo.

And you only have one kind of vermouth?

The one kind you’ve bought just won’t do.

You failed to pour a Manhattan

And that’s a poorly proportioned sidecar;

You dare to say you’re a barman?

You dare to call this a bar?

I presume you wouldn’t think to bill me

As it’s a bill I’d refuse to pay,

Just as I’ll refuse you tomorrow,

Just as I refused yesterday.

Now pour me an aviation

With abundant Crème de violette,

And don’t expect me to pay for that either,

I’m sure it will be your worst one yet.

Perhaps I should drink before I judge it …

Oh yes, it’s your worst one yet.

—Max Sparber

 

 

FY, +

Let’s get pig-eyed with drink

So utterly fucked we can’t think

 

We broke the bank

to fill our tanks

 

Let’s get pig-eyed with drink

 

Let’s get pig-eyed with drink

chuck our regal butts from the brink

 

damnably stank

expertly rank

 

Let’s get pig-eyed with drink

 

—We’ll try

 

to sail these bright

seas til we die

 

—But why?

 

Does sailing three

sheets fell the sky

 

—Because

 

What it undoes

Is fine with us

We reign in blackout scuzz

 

So!

Ho!

Go!

 

Let’s get pig-eyed with drink

 

Let’s get pig-eyed with drink

So crushingly fucked we can’t think

Find girls to spank

And twist our cranks

Let’s get pig-eyed with drink

—Kevin Maus

 Submit poetry to [email protected]

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