Monday, May 19, 2008

"Clever as cold coffee and whisky..."

(Hopper in the window)

Dialing While Intoxicated

Even this late I'm clever as cold coffee
and whisky. Scavenged that desperate pouch
of black shag I should've chucked ages ago,
ashes over-spilling the bread plate, butts
floating in backwash. Cup rings roam
the tabletop, the phone pad, half-stamp
my game of solo hangman. All of the E's
in "every ounce of everclear" busted
my bank long before tonight. But I dial on,
the kite and key of electric currency,
that flash of red, first frost in the maple trees:

in Amsterdam, look who's coming down the canal,
bicycle tires turning, up over the flock of bridges,
hump-backs bent and feeding, and round the crocus
and hemlock circle at Weteringschans. Who knows
which ex- is on the line? Then pub doors open
down Dorset Street, lights go off over Liffey murk,
the kitchen receiver sounds its dull double-bleat.
My sister, single now, searches for the phone.
And in Dunedin, the next day's already broken,
wobbled its way up summer twilight on sea legs,
half a year ahead. I could lick and tuck
one last roll-up, even call there collect.

John Hennessy

The poem is from the Poetry Daily archive due to be retired this week. Seemed like a good combination for a Monday. A pleasant weekend overall.

Last night I saw the surprise Oscar darling "Once". It was sublime and worth the hype. Check out his band The Frames doing the Pixies "Where is My Mind"....and this version of "Gigantic" with a kid's choir. He and his co-star of the film where on Jimmy Kimmel doing "Caribou" but I couldn't find it.


Churlita said...

In my head I hear Jen singing, "You never call me when you're sober" while reading this poem.

Also, I didn't know you hadn't seen Once. Our friend who does such things, burnt me a copy of that in January or February. I have it if you ever want to see it again.

Dexter said...

Thanks...I forget to get in on that circuit...