Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Clark Coolidge

Down Too Many Barrels

Those boys on the roof are just
waiting to fall through
but that bartender's kind of awkward
chairs full of young whiners and sod galoots
some other Jasper says I'm dull
eye like ball of scum
was that a liquid on the plate?
one churl set sail for New Bedford
but I've kept my Butane attitude
Butane Nevada that is
bottle full of oiled monkeys this is
there's an old saying: when the wine is done
you just have to finish it
makes sense to me a flush bunny
even down dark alleys of mirth
get your hooks off them potatoes
the town suffers from roundup
here come the miners minus dollars
want to be diners bright
as a dime on a cancelled stamp
but all these bellies are empty
as a star on a tom fool
and I'm sick of this dirtbank living
think I'll get me a sack
full up with bendable goods
one hand faster than a twisted dog
the other from cyclone load
but this sheriff's getting his sides mixed up
hey this card table smells like the sea
better ask Bill Hackleroad
he's in charge of the chloroform board
the jail's filling up with lead weights
Notion Boys hard as empty boxes
reach and go blind in this town
Robert Ryan can't see beneath
the cowboy stairs and what bodes
won't be long now

--Clark Coolidge

fr. Far Out West
[New York: Adventures in Poetry, 2001]


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