Ryan Quinn Flanagan

A Good Dive with Personality is a Great Place to Be

Whoever said mercy is for the weak

never knew mercy

and Doug and I are sitting in this bar
along Garson
with the smashed-in jukebox

and it is getting dark outside

in that slow way leukemia sneaks
up on you

bags under the eyes
and piss warm
beer

and Doug announces rather loudly:
I LOVE THIS BAR!

The bartender stop ragging the glasses
and looks up at us.

I take one long swig
and agree:

A good dive with personality is a great place to be.

DAMN STRAIGHT!,
Doug clanks his glass to mine
emphatically.

Hey, what’s that stupid word they use
for when rich people make a good thing bad?

Sex?,
I ask.

No, when they make all the cool places vanilla
and ship all the winos and whores out
so they can eat $14 olives.

Gentrification,
I say.

YEAH, THAT’S THE ONE!,
Doug hollers.

The bartender is glaring at us now.
I can tell he is about to gentrify the joint
out of the two noisy assholes sitting
in front of him.

A strange line keeps repeating itself
in my brain:

the devil smokes meat, then he says drats
the devil smokes meat, then he says drats
the devil smokes meat, then he says drats
the devil smokes meat, then he says drats

just like that
over and over again.

I do not share because sharing is not

always a good thing.

Give someone hepatitis
and they will not be pleased

that you shared.

YOU THINK LUDMILLA MISSES ME?,
Doug yells.

Do you miss her?,

I ask.

NOT ONE BIT!,
he hollers

so that everyone in a
five mile radius knows
he sniffs her stolen knickers
when no one is around.

That’s it, the bartender says,
I’m 86ing the both of you
right now!

YOU CAN TRY!,
Doug yells.

The bartender reaches under the bar
pulls out a green baseball bat
and knocks it against the top
of the bar.

I get up to leave.
Doug rushes past me out
the door.

It’s true, I think to myself,
all the good joints are gone
and most the good people
too.

Halfway up the stairs
I stop to pick up a dime.

It is glued to the pavement.
I have been tricked again.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s