I am the world’s last barman poet.
I see America drinking the fabulous cocktails I make.
Americans getting stinking on something I stir or shake.
The Sex on the Beach,
The Schnapps made from peach,
The Velvet Hammer,
The Alabama Slammer.
I make things with juice and froth.
The Pink Squirrel,
The 3-Toed Sloth.
I make drinks so sweat and snazzy.
The Iced Tea,
The Death Spasm,
The Singapore Sling,
America you’re just devoted to every flavor I got.
But if you want to get loaded,
Why don’t you just order a shot?
Bar is OPEN!!!
Gif: Buttery Planet
I wonder how it all got started, this business
about seeing your life flash before your eyes
while you drown, as if panic, or the act of submergence,
could startle time into such compression, crushing
decades in the vice of your desperate, final seconds.
After falling off a steamship or being swept away
in a rush of floodwaters, wouldn’t you hope
for a more leisurely review, an invisible hand
turning the pages of an album of photographs-
you up on a pony or blowing out candles in a conic hat.
How about a short animated film, a slide presentation?
Your life expressed in an essay, or in one model photograph?
Wouldn’t any form be better than this sudden flash?
Your whole existence going off in your face
in an eyebrow-singeing explosion of biography-
nothing like the three large volumes you envisioned.
Survivors would have us believe in a brilliance
here, some bolt of truth forking across the water,
an ultimate Light before all the lights go out,
dawning on you with all its megalithic tonnage.
But if something does flash before your eyes
as you go under, it will probably be a fish,
a quick blur of curved silver darting away,
having nothing to do with your life or your death.
The tide will take you, or the lake will accept it all
as you sink toward the weedy disarray of the bottom,
leaving behind what you have already forgotten,
the surface, now overrun with the high travel of clouds.
The phone rings
But never long enough
For the slow man.
By the time
The set’s switched on
His favourite programme’s over.
His tea grows cold
From cup to lip.
His soup evaporates.
He laughs, eventually,
At jokes long since
Gone out of fashion.
Sell by dates
And limited special offers
He comes home
With yesterday’s paper
And reads it… tomorrow.
(The Slow Man by Allan Ahlberg)