Charlie's Place


 "...In this world, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant;
                  I  recommend pleasant."-

from "Harvey" by Mary Chase & Oscar Brodney

Dedicated to Marie McVicker

{May 9, 1960 - November 1, 2000}

                                                  My stream of consciousness
                                                  has gone dry.

                                                  Perhaps, it will help
                                                           to wet my whistle.

                                                  No, I don't mean
                                                           I'll wash my face,
                                                  though, after a week,
                                                           it could use it…

                                                           one more round.

    A friendly face
    and a story
    no one will remember

    bring a sunshine
    to a midnight heart...

     and a nice pair of legs

      don't hurt.

                           The band plays on beer and Jack Daniels'
                                         and I listen on the same;

               But the mix is good with or without a drink.

              The unsung hero of the night runs the mixing board.





A sarcastic grin:
      More sincere
            than a sexy smile
            for it begs nothing
            but says so much.
 Perhaps, I'll believe
       the latter
            when I've had
            more to drink,

 but the former gets a tip
            because it's easier


                        on my mind.

                  It's A Grand Old Name

                     Mary, bring me
                                            drinks from the shelf.

     Mary, bring me
                   pain from the past.

                   Cursed by these memories
                   that shine in sparkling eyes;

                   Cursed by these memories
                              that linger
                              as I watch you
                                   walk away.


            Ever will there
                                       be a memory
            to blur the vision
                                               of these


            lovely girls before me.

                                        Ever will laughter
             be slightly thinner
                                        as it echoes through
             the bar,

                                     because I do not
                          hear you share it.

                                                          And heavy is my conscience,
                                                          because I let it weigh me down.

                                               Ever do I rob
                                                            the present
                                    with imaginings
                          of the past.

                                     Is it guilt
                                     or reminiscence
                                     which clouds
                                     my brain?…

                                            Or is it just the rum?

      Hens cackle in the distance.

     The moon shines bright above… 
      not here, of course,
      but somewhere.


                        he blew out our candle.
                        I guess we'd better leave. 

                        I wonder
                        if this tavern's memories

                        will last much longer
                        than its beers.

                                                                          I wrote a poem
                                                                                                    to you
                                                                                 and now you're dead.
                                                                          Did I kill you?
                                                                                 I might have helped.
                                                                          For you were killed

                                                        by one who admired you,
                                                               and surely I did that.
                       I feel so sad.
                       I feel so guilty.
                       I feel so helpless.
                       I feel so cheated.

                                  (I feel so thirsty)

Faces from the past stare at me in disbelief.
But, ya know,
I just stare back and laugh.
Even if they would listen,
I could never explain.
I don't want to try.


I just find someone else 
to stare at;
because I am part
of someone else's past too
and they owe me an explanation
that I don't want to listen to.

    when the weather gets warm;
                                      feeling lonely,
                                             and yet I sit still

   and watch the beauties
                               flit before me
   and keep the thoughts
                               that muddle my
                                          to myself,


                                                                      "I think

                                                                          I need
                                                                          a drink."

                                                            So many thoughts
                                                                   race through.
                                                                           So many feelings

                                                         (rage and peace


 and yearning)

          to let out;
          to scribble on a page.
                But it is raining...

                                           I think
                                           I need
                                           a drink.


                              Knobbee kneed 
                                   and staggering,
                               I smile as I sway
                                    for here are friends`
                                    and here are


                                                                                           my poems.

                                                    And I take them home
                                                    to commit them to print
                                                    and hold them on paper

                                                    and in my heart.


                                                         that mystic elixir
                                                   stirred by vestal virgins
                                                   and sampled in a drunken haze,

                                                          is just a myth
                                                    to delude the conservationists
                                                          and fool the inebriated
                                                           into believing
                                                           the cook
                                                           and owner
                                                    and the pretty girl behind the counter
                                                    who says, "It's good for you."

          Wisdom mixed
               with so many
          makes me wonder

               if I heard it all; 
          But, as I drink
               another swallow,
          I know I get
               the most of it.
          And, after all,
               that's all you can do
                     in life;

          Try to get the most of it.


One  should always be drunk, that is all that matters.
So as not to feel time's horrible burden
that breaks your shoulders and bows you down,
you must get drunk without ceasing.

But with what?
With wine, with poetry or with virtue, as you choose
but get drunk.

And if at some time,
on the steps of a palace,
or in the green grass of a ditch,
or in the bleak solitude of your room,
you are waking up and drunkenness has already abated,
ask the wind, a wave, the star, the bird, the clock,
all that which flees,
all that which rolls,
all that which groans,
all that which sings,
all that which speaks...
ask them what time it is.
And the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock will reply,
"It is time...
 to get drunk."

So that you may not be the martyred slaves of time, get drunk.
Get drunk and never pause for rest,
with wine, with poetry, or with virtue,
as you choose.
                                             - Charles Baudelaire

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   The song playing is Wings', "Picasso's Last Words (Drink To Me)" and was found at Daveweb's MIDI Meltdown.
       Photographs by Rick LeBlanc, effects by Hoeffmeir Publishing Company (1999) except unknown origin of Nina Hartley photo, barmaid4.jpg COPYRIGHT © 1997 MICHAEL J. LESSNER, Irene (Mary) from the Judy and Martin Pagesand, actually, a good number of other pictures which were unattributed.  I just found them by searching the web and we "doctored" them.  They fit my memories...I hope they fit yours.  [No offense, legal or personal, is intended and any picture will promptly be removed or credited if the original artist notifies me.]