“another one,” I smack with my vowels
the balding head of the leprechaun of a bartender
the clown with his false smile and polished baritone
of friendliness, he pours me my Guinness;
he’s a… well, you know the type, a youngish fellow
who when no one’s looking turns away from the bar
and reads Spinoza’s “Ethics,” out of that naive belief
that there’s something philosophy can teach us,
or more likely, just to impress the glances of arts students
who come here Tuesdays for half-price drinks

I mull over the black coldness of the glass,
the shapely smell of french fries gurgles around
and for sure there is talking in our midst
but who would notice words;
the Heat have won (buzzer-beater), and the only man who cared
just went to the bathroom
and all is merry
it’s life to be lived
with no obligations to us, who live it
and a smattering of thinking, only allowed behind the bar

shadows gather to celebrate jazz hour
smokes rise to celebrate jazz hour
sparks jump off cigarette ends
bubbles flock to the surface
despite the tension, climb up
fogs begin to dance

cats give out advice on how to get the best seats
some, of course, lie, the trick
is to know which
you can tell novice liars by whiskers
whiskers say, ‘I lie,” presto the paradox.

wise dogs sleep already; the magic steps over them
in the form of the rustle in the oak trees,
you know what I’m talking about, the sound-movement
the chiasm

like the very first keystrokes and the inevitable rain
as if this were some newyorker establishment only
it’s feb and it’s 65 degrees
at night.

yes, have a cigar
they’re cheap here,
have these notes too
there is nothing better life can offer
between 2 and 3 in the morning