REM Stage 6: A Poetry Blog || julie niklas


Two Men Walk Into a Bar
08/03/2009, 2:29 AM
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

Draft one, some typos, whatever. Havent written a long poem in a while, going for somethin different.
What do you think?

Two men
walk into a bar.
One man has a broken arm
and cradles the sling
against his chest. He has a short beard
and hasn’t shaved, and hunches over.
The other man is tall, thick, and
well-shaven. He wears a Yankees
baseball cap, which he tips upwards as he smiles
at a lady in a green party dress sitting
at the end of the bar nearest the door with
a half-empty glass of scotch, and
several empty ones.
The door clicks shut behind the two men,
inaudible under the saxophone’s croon.
The lady in the green dress pats
the stool beside her and grins
at the one in the cap. Her name is
Linda Something, she’s twenty-nine, single,
and he orders her another drink,
and one for himself.
The scrawny man moves away from the door
and takes a seat at the
far end of the bar next to
an old man who’s drinking himself to the grave.
He doesn’t order anything, but rests his
elbows on the countertop, and gazes into
the reflection in the polyeurethane slick.
The bar is not well lit. There
are several low-wattage hanging lamps, and
some orange-toned sconces on each
end of the shelves behind the counter. The lights
play off the green and white bottles, and
the old man mumbles something
about how it “looks like a train tunnel in here,”
because he is old and has poor eyesight.
The yankee and Linda Something are
laughing, and the laughter carries
across the room. The man with the
broken arm waves the bartender over
and asks for the strongest he’s got
and the bartender sets a napkin down,
then pours him two.
He thanks him and pulls the glasses closer
as the other man and Linda get up
and walk out into the night. He watches the
door close and downs one of his glasses,
winces at the burn, and fulfills
his obligation to the remaing one, then
takes his wallet from his back pocket, grabs
the wad of bills and tosses it in the saxophonist’s case,
who stops playing and flashes him a half-toothless smile
and continues playing all his jazz.
The man walks out and leans against the brick,
strikes a match on it with
his good hand and lights a cigarette. He stands
looking at the moon until a cloud drifts
over it, and his smoke cloud
drifts over him, hiding him from the drunks that walk out.
It’s a cloudy sort of night.

(Should I include this as an ending and take off that last line, or not? Does it add to it or take away, or do you think it’s just plain stupid?)
[The joke is that
the two men who walked into the bar
in hte first place didn’t know each other,
and it was the one with the broken arm
who opened the door for the yankee,
and the yankee took his girl.]

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