Welcome to those intemperate,
a toast to all sots
and a bang-up tune from
an Oxydenean jukebox –
who needs the outside
when we’re boxed like an organelle
inside its cell,
in this haven for the drunks of the universe.
Beyond that door is hell
or, at least, so many doors closed to us.
Why shouldn’t we turn our attrition to advantage
with a glass of what ails
the dead-eyes and demoralized.
Some stand in the light,
others sink down the shadows.
One nurses his drink
like it’s an extension of his hand.
But here, the bottle never empties,
the finest brews from ten thousand planets
at the slap of a tongue.
Sure, there’s rules that apply.
We exaggerate, we lie.
Honesty is not permissible.
Nor are politics, religion,
or anything subject to the stench of warfare.
It’s mostly conversation
on an abstract plane.
mouths and antennae,
thought patterns and gestures.
reflection on the intergalactic weather
and, of course, the females of all species
are fair game.
So we order another round,
like it’s the golden age of alien revelry,
celebrating the liquid tempo of the glasses,
every sip, the moment of consummation,
the continuum’s indifference
to the thirsts of all our kinds.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Tau, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Examined Life Journal and Midwest Quarterly.