Dan Cuddy

Report From Beerland

seedy bars are always good for songs and cities

faded posters announcing some forgettable performance

fleur de lis wallpaper—St. Louis or New Orleans

the unintentional clank of piano keys

the river roiling

Tina rolling on Proud Mary

the back door open

an unheard whisper from the night

all those tires on the road

in the morning clean-up crews mopping the dance-forsaken floors

door open to release the stench of this night’s crowd

arse and elbowed so tight

the angelic barmaid with buck teeth
holding a tray of drinks up so high
as she works her way to far tables

amazing there aren’t patrons like dogs
leaping to clench the lip of a glass in their teeth

politics and failed marriages were certainly caught in their teeth

heroes everywhere in conversations nodding off

table tops aren’t pillows for spinning dreams

outside stars as far away as a kid’s grasp on things

things are stumbling forward, as they always do, in the dark

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