Doc Holidays

The music is too loud

and the patrons are unstable


they wobble, of course

but their eyes also

shift about the bar

and I wonder that

violence rarely breaks out


the beer is nearly warm and the

tables lean back and forth with the

hipsters shooting pool


on the ceiling I can still

see the stains

of yellow smoke

from years ago when

ashtrays were furniture


the smell is worse in the summer

and the air conditioner chokes

as it struggles to fill the room


but after twenty years

I have too many memories

to let go


when I look up

to the wobbly men

their shifty eyes no longer

seem nervous


I see them smile

I hear them laugh


there are many names

for where

we call home


Pickled Skoovers

“I’ll have a gill of the McMary’s and two mutchkins of the Dark Wary Stout. Three orders of pickled skoovers, a side of the orange pigsweed, and one bowl of cummin roasted turnovers.”

“Just a typical Monday night’s meal?” I asked, my eyebrow raised at my own clever jest.

“Yah, it’s about like that. You never had the skoovers here? They’ll about take the skin off your tongue if you’re not careful.”

I stared at her, hoping I might see some hint in her eyes of whatever the fuck she was talking about, but her radical sincerity was overpowering. When I turned to laugh at the bartender, hoping he’d get the joke, he was busy writing down the order and pouring her whisky from a bottle I’ve never seen.

“How did you find this place?” she asked, leaning in until her nose was pressed solidly against my own. I didn’t dare move, but as I tried to remember my mind was a complete blank.

“I, ah, was walking home past Moonbys when I had to stop and use their bathroom. When I came out, I decided to sneak out the back, and then…”

“And then you stumbled in here when the light was on, eh?”

“I guess,” I said, finding it odd to talk to someone who had their nose pressed against my face.

She finally stepped back and looked me up and down. She touched my arm and then my shoulder, her hand strangely invasive in its exploration. And then before I could say another word she picked up her drinks and smiled at me.

“Well, try the skoovers if you want to get at it. It’ll change the light in your hair.”

And then she was gone and I was sitting there alone wondering if somehow my wrong turn out of Moonbys left me further from home than expected.


-GNY (who has probably had too many gills of McMary’s tonight)

©2012 by The Dirty Gentleman (#598)