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            POUR WHISKEY OVER SCORN

 

Been tendin’ bar

In this old town

Since 1863

Since all the dust

From off the trail

Blew a young man down

And I found a place to be

 

From rush of gold

To gush of oil

And ghosts laid in between

Despite the dirt

N’all the hurt

N’all the bloody toil

N’all the pain I seen

 

Behind three feet of sturdy wood

I ply my trusted trade

A welcome face

Friend stranger friend

While some just stay for good

We all flicker and fade

 

How many times

You polish brass

Still mahogony’s worn

Still run a comb

Over my hair

Still wipe spots from glass

Pour whiskey over scorn

 

Old grizzly Bob

Aand ragger Jim

Stud under the table

Mangey Mickey

And his hairy dog

Lick a bowl of gin

Then go howl at Mabel

 

Up creeky dick

With pick and pan

Still diggin’ for the dream

Sherrif Billy

Will he ever

Grow into the man

His Pappy’d wished he’d been

 

Party happens

All day and night

Sight for all to see

What once was fun

Now seems to young

Christ I look a sight

What must you think of me

 

Nothing happens

All day and night

Don’t speak of the unseen

Drink in your drug

Shoot up your soul

No more need to fight

To wipe the bar slate clean

 

Then slinger Joe

Came in one day

The bar became a tomb

His soulless stare

Always a thrill

Dare you look away as

He strides across the room

 

He took his place

In front of me

I poured his usual brew

He looked around

And back again

It’s just not meant to be

And somehow I just knew

 

He looked into

His soothing source

Musing eternity

He took a sip

Breathed soft yet hoarse

And then spoke finally

 

“Furst man uh killed

Steel jest ah boy

Dun ten b’faw fetine

Bah twennywun

Ah’d jest lahst cownt

N’ver tek me no joy

Ditn’t mean te be mean”

 

“Ye thank ye know

Bout who ye are

B’t that jest ain’t the case

If wun man sehs

That he knows you

N’ goes tells too far

Well tell me to my face”

 

“Each man ah killed

Wanted me dead

N’ woulda dun the same.

Ah cayn’t member

Now wat ah felt

Wat wus in mah hid

Mah heart, it felt no shame

 

Y’ make a name

N’ in return

Reputations given

It’s laid on you

By those around

Who jest never learn

How a man is driven

 

He drained his glass

One last neck throe

Rocked him back on his stool

Unsteady pale

I leaned forward

Looked over down below

And saw the growing pool

 

I saw his frown

He pointed down

And opened up his shirt

Near to his heart

The knife he wore

Clear as day to me

This was the end of hurt

 

He reached across

And kissed me hard

And opened up eyes

Hh held me tight

And one last time

Slipped in his shard

This was the end of lies

 

I gasped, he smiled

Always his way

To end the wandering

I laid my head

On his shoulder

And dreamed another day

We didn’t feel a thing