just another old man with a ponytail and a beard in san francisco on a saturday night

just another old man with a ponytail and a beard in san francisco on a saturday night

Poetry

John Grochalski

 

 

 

they come into vesuvio’s cafe

right after my wife and i order our second beer

 

otherwise we would’ve left

 

there are twelve of them

cramped around a table meant for six

 

they look like a fucked up last supper

 

or the type of shallow trolls

who have to go out drinking

with their dozen closest friends

 

it’s saturday night in america

and i’m not made for saturday night anymore

 

but i’m all the way on the other side of the country

and i feel like i need to get my money’s worth

 

before it’s vodka on ice in the hotel bed

watching MSNBC and FOX News duke it out for moral supremacy

 

these apostles are loud and ignorant

 

the dudes keep screaming “bro”

and the women just scream

 

there’s a lot of five slapping

and talk about being wasted

and bar hopping or bar crawling

and how they been at it for hours and…bro!

 

one of the women says, like, this is the bar

where, like, jack kerouac, like, wrote all his poems and novels

 

not true

…but what’s really true anymore?

 

besides, no one cares anyway

 

with fresh five-dollar pints

of anchor steam littering the table

and the next pub already in their line of sight

 

the truth is relative

 

when the waitress brings our second round

i ask for the check over the sloppy din

 

like i’m someone important and have to rush off

 

and not just another old man

with a ponytail and beard

in san francisco on a saturday night

 

binging my new pint

like some kind of anxious frat boy

 

almost choking on the beer

as those kids laugh and scream through their round

 

kings and queens of the bar

 

their relevance so glaring and true

that it renders me blind.

 

 

John Grochalski is the author of the poetry collections, The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), and The Philosopher’s Ship (Alien Buddha Press, 2018). He is also the author of the novels, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016). Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, in the part that voted for Trump, so may God have mercy on his soul.

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