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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 © | Year Posted 2019




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