Dank air, thick and heavy
like gaseous molasses, lazily ferments
In this amber rusted barrel
Of soulful blues and bad tobacco.
Faithful drunks slowly sway,
Inebriated from breathing kill-devil air.
They sing wailing, gospel woes in harmony
With Lucille on the record player.
Faded brown bed sheets hang from the ceiling,
Covering exposed water pipes and mold,
Billowing up like brown dust clouds
Floating over a bustling bazaar
In a back alley of Baghdad.
Youthful patrons bring with them
A breath of fresh and lively air.
Giddy to begin their weekly ritual
Of Bacchic worship this Saturday evening.
These half-hearted, holiday worshippers
Take their place among the devoted regulars,
Who’ve prayed from bar stool pews,
Solemnly consuming a eucharist
Of almighty alcohol and mixed nuts,
Confessing their sins to the barman priests,
All while searching for a salvation I see
In the emptiness of their glazed eyes
And the sadness lurking beneath each bingeing high.
ING is a rock bar near Sanjo station in Kyoto, Japan. It is usually populated with a good mix of Japanese and foreigners, most of whom are faithful patrons of the small establishment. Somewhat hidden on the second floor of an unassuming building, ING is a diamond waiting to be found by those looking for down-to-earth authenticity in the overly commercialized party district of Kyoto. This piece was written on a lonely evening when I found myself at the bar quite a bit earlier than usual. The deep conversations, steady stream of B.B. King, and (of course) flow of booze almost convinced me to become a more serious convert to Bacchus.
Blindly barking dogs,
Fighting change with feral snarls,
Fail to stop the post. Read more
Five more skewers are placed on the grill.
The sizzling smell of succulence pervades the air
As red hot, charcoal flames seer through chicken flesh.
A dash of seven spices and sprinkle of soy sauce
Spill into the coals which burst forth in flame
Hungrily dancing to the mouth-watering melody
Of the sizzle and pop of skewers
atop the blackened cast iron grill.
“Sister!” shouts a drunk chasing his chicken with liqour
As he deepens the debt he has taken from tomorrow:
A loan of happiness to be brutally collected
By the shark of a wife he left lurking the waters at home.
But for now the man pays no attention to debt,
Much prefering to let his drunk eyes rest
On the soft complexion of the young waitress
Who graciously enables his addiction to escape.
Another round goes down at the bar
Whose sole occupant slowly succumbs
To the fermented grapes of Bacchus pleasure
And the delerious thoughts as deep as his wine is red
Only to find a box of fanzia behind the bar.
A gold coin spinning,
Singing the tune of business,
Rings the profit bell. Read more
I cast my vote for Ms. Clinton:
A lighthouse guiding our distant ship,
Upon which Captain Lincoln once stood,
Away from the battering of turbulent tides
And decades of battling abroad and aboard,
To safety within the harbor.
I marked my ballot against Mr. Trump:
A mutinous shipmate privileged upon the lookout,
Using fear and lies to conceal the harbor light
From the down-trodden, somber eyes
Of the working class crew below deck
But most importantly I sent my hope to America,
A diverse and estranged extended fraternity
Living under a ship deck doused in oil
Tirelessly we toil to better our vessel,
Yet constantly we fight one another
With swords made from matches.
Though the future of our voyage is uncertain,
A new captain has taken the helm.
We may not have agreed who was to succeed,
But we are in this Great Experiment together.
We are part of the ship just as the captain is.
We will either sail on to clear waters or sink,
But whatever happens this ship is all we’ve got.
Anger fills the streets.
New signs weeping with fresh ink
Stain screaming masses
Black with fear for our future.
Blind hate begets rage. Just breathe. Read more
Purple sand castles
Carried away with the tide,
Return to nature. Read more
128 to 97. Refresh.
128 to 97.
My index finger nervously tapping
In double time to Trumps Electoral Tempo.
“236 Votes Per Minute! Only 34 more,”
I frighten myself with convoluted hysteria,
“He’s got it!”
And my heart sinks to the floor.
128 to 97. Refresh.
Trump bumps up to 140.
I wonder if the rumbling groan
resounding in the pit of my stomach
Might turn into another Oklahoma earthquake
As it rises the Richter Scale
In tandem with the Trumpocalypse.
Sleek body basks on black-top
Hark! Something sizzles.