Smoky Hoss

Gold Star - 14,439 Points (01 may 1962 / U.S.A.)

Drinking By The Books - Poem by Smoky Hoss

Here I sit
in an old dusty bar
(where once there was smoke)
drinking old-fashioned's
discussing societal failings
and the limitations of
masculine modernity
with Hemingway, Faulkner and
- An ancient voice
from a dark corner of this
whiskey'd - world
speaks out:
It is the mass of men
who undeservedly lead lives
of quiet desperation,
due to deprivation.
My pals and I
raise our dirty glasses in toast
and with a hearty:
devour our dread
in drink.
Bill cries out
in great southern-style:
Damn the night.
Free the slaves.
The price has been paid.
with a weary smirk says softly:
I'll drink to that; hell
I'll drink to anything.
I'd even go so far as to say,
I would anything, anywhere, with anyone!
Ernie glowering over his glass of rye
gives a brief revue:
You boys just plain
talk too much.
We all roar
with manly laughter;
God it feels good
to really be alive
right now, right here...
if only briefly.
- the bartender
glances over at me
with eyes that threaten
charges of insanity.
But we don't care, no
not the four of us,
old classic pals
anachronistic conundrums
last of the free minds,
getting a wee bit carried away
in the wonderful joy
that comes from outside of
the ordinary world where
the sun still rises on all:
the just
who are unjust,
the wise
who are foolish,
the brave
who are fearful,
and also
the alive...
who were once
the dead.

In the closing distance
near the land of the finish
and faraway places,
a solitary gunshot
sings it's sad song of loss...
then Bill cries out:
No more for old Ernie -
he's had quite enough!
- and with that, for the moment,
so have I.
I gather my books,
and head for
the nearest
Time has come
to go -

Topic(s) of this poem: death, despair, drink, life

Comments about Drinking By The Books by Smoky Hoss

  • Kim Barney (11/30/2016 8:27:00 PM)

    Wow! That is powerful. I had to fight back the tears when I read this part:
    a solitary gunshot
    sings its sad song of loss...
    then Bill cries out:
    No more for old Ernie -
    he's had quite enough!

    Thinking of Ernest Hemmingway, and how he ended his own life with a firearm. Such a tragic loss. We just never know for whom the bell tolls, but the sun also rises...

    Smoky Hoss(9/25/2017 3:04:00 PM)

    Thanks Kim! I sincerely appreciate your words. Those fellows are 3 of my favorites; I just had to celebrate them (and with them) in a poem. Plus, I'd love to go out drinking on the town with them! ! !

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Poem Edited: Friday, February 17, 2017

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