Song from a Barrel
I’m a ‘bar-back’, I stack,
I pull up the crates, unpack and rack.
I hump boxes of glasses in,
then I hump them out again.
I roll barrels into a hand-cranked elevator,
then roll the empties into the club cellar
where they now lay stinking.
The dude who’s supposed to hose them out,
has skipped. In this town
a citizen was chopped up,
and left in a pub barrel;
folks are naturally a bit sensitive
to beer related cleanliness. I’m fired.
Hours later I’m washing dishes
at the Canton Buffet…
the perpetually angry manager
starts yelling at me in Cantonese.
There’s a phone call from the guy
who is supposed to be hosing down
the aluminum beer barrels.
He’s in a motel
shacked up with the redhead bartender
from the ‘Gentleman’s Club.’
She’s a skank,
but I see where he might have been tempted.
The buffet manager is standing next to me
by the wall-phone,
his arms are folded, he’s
impatiently tapping his toes,
while this guy (who I hardly knew),
is yapping to me like we are best buds.
I can hear the ‘skank’ giggling loudly in the
background, the ‘hose guy’ is snickering also,
he’s obviously jacked-up on snow.
Later, I am fired by the manager
of the ‘Cantonese Buffett’.
It’s then that I decide to get a real job,
and maybe write a little poetry -
should have known that was B.S.
I find a job,
but I’m still hunched over a splatter of words
that should have first been hosed down,
and despite the choices I could have made,
I’ve got to move on to
the next unpredictable shift
with that redheaded skank
I call my Muse.
Copyright © Eric Ashford | Year Posted 2019
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