The Bartender Told me (2)

The Bartender Told me (2)

A Poem by Narnie

I don't know whether anyone will remember the first one ('my daddy shot a black man from a telegraph pole')... but this is the second and is also a true story.



He’d seen The Guy before -

been around a long while back,

tall, straight looking, twitch of a smile,

came in a couple after 7

every night and every night,

whisky after whisky  (,after whisky after whisky,)

til the bar was wiped clean

and he walked out cold sober, again,

for one more day he didn’t die.


The Girl was pretty,

he’d not seen her before,

small, shy looking, a gentle smile,

came in with The Guy,

who ordered a coke,

she ordered a beer, inhaled,

corrected herself and

The Guy uncorrected her,

confirmed the beer.


They sat ~

the table tilted

as his knees

brushed wood,

beer spilled

a pool

lieing still-frame

dead centre,

on the varnished oak.


and she wondered if he’d stoop down and lick the table clean,

a lizard tongue snapping out, a slow motion slide to lap it up,

whipped back with a smack of his lips as he sighs relief, release,


The Guy picked up the beer mat,

used the freefall to draw a square,

to draw four squares in the square,

to place the mat down on their cross,

its edges swelling as it soaked up dregs

of his life, he explained ~

top right, his family, top left, his work,

bottom right, himself, bottom left…

Alcoholics Anonymous.


‘And this is you’, he explained

as he tapped the mat, moved it

up, to the sides and back, slowly,

to soak up every corner of his life,

being in every part of his day

seeing his struggle,

accepting him as and who and how,

believing in him unconditionally

because she had,

and will now always, save him.


The Girl’s eyes didn’t blink

as her mind rocked through

a battle which she’d never win,

fait accompli, unless she killed, now, for love for love

for a life lived on egg shells,

cushioning him from himself

while she felt every blow

of his own fear, ignoring her

dreams of simple contentment.


The Bartender told me

that as The Guy kissed her,

stood, turned to leave,

she held back one step,

reached to the table,

raised the last of her beer

in a private, silent toast

to her own resignation

and another day she’d died.

© 2011 Narnie

Author's Note

Performance poetry style but would be interested to know if it suits just as well on the page.

My Review

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E'ry night and e'ry night!

Posted 6 Years Ago

This is fabulous and I loved it. I always enjoy reading something that impresses...this hits the mark. Of course I'm pretty impressed by the author too. (smile)

Posted 7 Years Ago

This is a great piece! I love the imagery, and the emotion, Wow! "for one more day he didn't die." - "and another day she'd died." You take us full circle here in this despondent story. You captured this scene so well. I think it fits wonderfully on the page...

Fantastic Write!

Posted 10 Years Ago

Wow, this is wonderful. I felt like a patron sitting and observing from some wobbly table in the corner of the bar.


Posted 10 Years Ago

it does, it does, oh, yes it really does

Posted 10 Years Ago

an excellent, 'ohhhhh woooooow' poem. I think it sits very well, the placement of each stanza helps tell the story. I love it Narnie!

Posted 10 Years Ago

any style you characterize this in its going to remain brilliant, how could it not, you wrote it, and thats all that is, really important.

Its like saying how does the sun look in this way or that, the sun does what it does naturally, and beautifully, it warms the heart and shows the way, as do you, any way you slice it.

The last stanza was the, dusk, in the day of your poem.

Oh yeah, I loved it.

Posted 10 Years Ago

I enjoyed reading this one, good interplay and I hope to read more of your work.

Posted 10 Years Ago

It suits nicely...and the interplay between 'characters' is illustrated by the disjointed format.
Very thought provoking, discerning work. Brings a myriad of conflicts to life.


Posted 10 Years Ago

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You can tell its a performance piece because it reads so well on the page..I could pick this up and perform it straight's structured well, the flow is liquid words..I like your poetic's never bulky, looking at a shiny new office block..(that's a compliment even though it didn't sound it) LOL

Posted 10 Years Ago

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15 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on March 6, 2011
Last Updated on March 6, 2011



United Kingdom

Proud mother to three girls who I have brought up to be respectful, kind and intelligent in their interactions with others. Absolutely fed up with the lack of moderation on this site when I see fr.. more..

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