Friday, September 6, 2013

Getting Drunk at Chili's / Poetry Reading Psychosis

Kevin Ridgeway

Getting Drunk at Chili’s


We hoof it from the bus stop

the exhaust clogging our lungs

and we walk the two blocks to

our neighborhood Chili’s

where margaritas are cheap

and we can disappear in the

steam of a fajita grill smiling

at us from the wood paneled

two person dining booth,

you stuff a pile of paper

napkins in your purse

we barely have enough to

pay our bill, which looks

like more money than we’ve

ever earned in our lives,

but we manage to carry

our plastic doggie bags

filled with seared beef

and chicken chimichanga

we push them in an abandoned

shopping cart and

have a night cap at Von’s

grocery store:  a twelve-gun

box of microbrews

to tickle our dead brain

matter both of us dancing

in each other’s way

and stepping on each

other’s feet, naked in front

of each other in the bread aisle

singing along to songs

piped in on the satellite

store stereo system

that we’ve never heard

before but we know

the lyrics by heart

gliding in just our

socks on the linoleum

floor sparkling with

reflections of

fluorescent light that feeds

our double vision



Poetry Reading Psychosis

“my soul” he screams, arms outstretched,

his notebook of poems and musings

sitting on a lectern in front of him, the words

with their back to the audience

“my essence” he says, smelling his

sweat-stained shirt

his poems drop to the ground and he keeps

reciting and making up stuff on the spot

and someone murmurs “you’re corny”

which gets a big laugh

and he starts to crumple up bits of paper

throwing them at the audience members

“I hope you all piss blood” he bellows

he is ushered out and then some lady

reads about flowers in the desert

which was kinda nice

made me think of lemon lime soda

and the air conditioning of

my grandmother’s

condominium, the armadillos

and peccadilloes of life

saying a long goodbye

to the sun

I wake up from this daydream

and the poetry reading

is over

I have missed the

post-poetry reading

pizza party, spheres of

grease in each empty box

frown at me like

confused children


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