Gimlet

“could you turn down the lights?
i’m trying not to be
seen here”

no answer, there is
just me and the barkeep
and he’s busy, polishing

some old bottle
but new
to the new pub

i guess he looked kind of
good, i may have had
fifty or five, but he looked

good and all
tall, and penguin-like,
busy as a man should be busy

built as a man
should be
built

the tables behind me already have
names on them already
who would reserve them this early?

i never understood how
people point at their days, say which time is for
which

i have never done that with mine
O’, order? but i am
so happy and functioning with my being unhappy and not-at-all functioning

i should break
a vase, i should make
a scene

the families that pass never turn
the walls are pretty much non-existent here
and the walls that we have are muchly transparent

they must have jobs to go to
to keep happy the mouths they
explore at their secretive homes

i do not have that but what i do have
is someone who hates me
for being an apathetic inconvenience

i keep only this yellowish flutt’ring skin
and this itinerary as my only
two counteragents, company

as if having a goddamn notepad
and acrylic set in a bar alone
would paint me interesting

“what a wonder he must be
a man thinking under
booze and holding in piss”

i am a giant in the mind of the people
i date, i fuck, i employ, i keep around
but to me i’m just me, silly little me

ugly little me, drunk little me
who’s had to look at the onion and
curse at the moon because the moon lies often

and the moon depicts
me better than the actual
black box– it runs and runs

if he finds out what i’m hiding
he would hate me and i
cannot cost someone his dreams, not his life, not his life

(i cannot be responsible for that
i’m not even responsible with mine
i do just ignore mine)

we are so bewildered in the watch
of some body’s moral decline
head of the rock– so strong, now a brittle

remain
it matters to
me!

i am the unsullied
i am the bee on a night off
should I not take joy instead?

should i caress you the way i do paperwork?
i saw his archived photos, he’s been to
where i’ve never been, and all that intimidates me for no reason that i just enjoy being intimidated, i hate myself, i hate my job, i hate my entirety, my history, all this boring me from this boring family, i couldn’t be more inauthentically incomplete and self-deprived

do i not hear them
roaring like caged animals
“my favorite part,” the funnel glass said,

“are your wings self-clipped”
but it’s been the afternoon, what was i
on? what was i thinking?

i have murdered the idealist in me
with this now-bloodied
club


OTHER POEMS BY ETHAN LESLEY CC | CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL || Burgundahlia, poetry
 
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