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The Juke Joint

Thomas Simunsen Avatar Thomas Simunsen - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled The Juke Joint which was written by poet Thomas Simunsen. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Juke Joint

I read today that they're tearing the old Juke Joint down.
Been way too long since I cut a rug there.
First walked through that door back in '31
Wasn't long after Notre Dame lost Knute Rockne in that plane crash.
I was just a regular Joe back then, fresh outta college.
Finished my ticket as an architect inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Was lookin’ to expand my life skills before I set myself to workin'.
The sounds comin' outta that place was really somethin' back then.

Had this canary on stage and man could she sing. Had a set of pins that went all the way to heaven.
Rumour was that Fat Tony got her in the door. But I tells ya this was no clip joint.
In all my days there I aint ever seen no Tommy gun and never no gangsters.
but that never stopped no rumours. Accordin' to all those ready to spill the beans
to anyone dumb enough to listen she was a gangster’s moll.
We never believed 'em of course, would just let 'em ramble an' shake our heads.

Then there was some of that negro swing, man those cats could play.
Had that joint jumpin' in no time.
Although we still had 2 years 'til the government got wise and ended prohibition.
Jimmy behind the bar could get me some of
that good ole Canadian stuff for a Lincoln cross his palm.
This was not rotgut either or any of that Yankee moonshine.
This was swell stuff. Jimmy usually saved some of it for his regulars after closin’ the doors.
Just a way to shoot the breeze and enjoy the company of a chosen few.
Not sure if Old Lester the local copper knew bout’ it,
I suspect he did, but was willin’ to turn a blind eye as we was no trouble.
Never got the chance to ask ole Jimmy and no chance now.
Poor Jimmy bought it in France back in '44. He was the first of us to go, poor Jimmy.
And Lester well I guess he just retired and faded away as old memories do.
The old Juke Joint needed a good lick of paint and well some new chairs would've dolled the place up a bit.
Still she was a second home for a good many years.
I wish I could have 20 years back on me time now, so I could go say goodbye, but in the end it’s best I can't.
Would only break my heart and I cherish the memories I have of the way we was back then.

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  1. Date: 11/3/2013 2:11:00 AM

    As I said before, you are a real story teller. This one is somewhat reminiscent of Micky Spillane. I used to stay up late at night and watch the old classics with my Dad every week-end. Midway, we would go out for something to eat, then come back and stay up till way past dawn. That was our big activity together. You took me back. It was fun.

    Simunsen Avatar Thomas Simunsen Date: 11/3/2013 2:33:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    lol yes a bit earlier than Mike Hammer. I wanted to write something from the 30's. the gangster era.
    Crespo Avatar Beverly Crespo Date: 11/3/2013 2:28:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    On second thought, this would be earlier than Mike Hammer. This is more George Raft and Bogart. Pleas forgive the error in time periods. I'm getting sleepy. Bev
  1. Date: 9/22/2013 8:55:00 AM


    Simunsen Avatar Thomas Simunsen Date: 9/22/2013 9:51:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    no worries mate =)
  1. Date: 9/18/2013 3:42:00 PM

    This was a very entertaining poem and it took me back in time to the gangster era of 1930's Chicago. Great work, Tom. I loved it!...Thank you so much for all of your wonderful comments on my poems. I really appreciate it that you took the time to read my work!

    Simunsen Avatar Thomas Simunsen Date: 9/18/2013 5:09:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I enjoy reading your work Kelly. thank you for reading mine. =)
  1. Date: 9/16/2013 6:21:00 PM

    wow, this is GREAT writing. I liked the way you injected colloquial language into it and the pure nostalgia of it all. gosh dang, if this is true, you are older than my mom! Way to stay mentally alert and writing your heart out!!

    Simunsen Avatar Thomas Simunsen Date: 9/16/2013 7:59:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    thank you Andrea, I love writing and like to challenge myself at times.....this was one of them. I love the 30's era (I am a fan of art deco). I wanted language from that era to set the tone. Thank you very much for stopping by (I am in my 40's but to know my actual age you will have to chop off my head and count the rings!)
  1. Date: 9/16/2013 2:58:00 PM

    I like the way it reads. I'm no American either so it went just fine for me. Looks a whole like a short story for my lik'n though, or am I missing something?

    Simunsen Avatar Thomas Simunsen Date: 9/16/2013 8:00:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks Scott. I was in 2 minds about posting this piece and it's 'twin'. Then I thought I would let majority rule. so far the 'votes' are positive.
  1. Date: 9/14/2013 10:28:00 AM

    Wonderful tale, Tom. I sent you a soupmail with my suggestions. hugs, Catie :)

  1. Date: 9/14/2013 10:06:00 AM

    I have 2 things to say about this piece. Firstly being in Australia and having never been to the USA (Yet) I researched this. If I got any slang or features wrong I apologise. (message me with the mistake and I will endeavour to fix it) Secondly - I might be pushing the boundary's of prose here. Soe may call it a short - short story. If it doesn't belong here let me know and I'll remove.....otherwise grab a cold one (on me), sit down and relax...last drinks at the Juke Joint