At a Bar Where they’ve Read Some Eliot

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At a Bar Where they’ve Read Some Eliot

So, I says to that wreck of an Archduke, I says,
hurry up please it’s time.

and he says to me, leaning across the bar, belly dragging through these slimy stumps
of vegetation ( why he don’t eat the olives, I just
don’t know) 
jug jug jug jug tereu–

and I says, I’m Madame
to you; I don’t care what
they says at Kew.

But then he gets so quiet–one of  those frosty
silences–I couldn’t even get a chirp,
so, I says, at last, what you need man,
is some water,
and on the rocks, he shouts,
(and even then I have to hold it
to his lips–
swallow swallow)

only in a flash, he goes
all mad again, breaking into some deep
sea shanty
mixed with London Bridge–

and if this is how
the unguented live—
cause I tells you he still did smell good
under the gin–
let me stick
to my people, the humble
people.  (One has to be
so careful these days.)

******************

17th draft poem for April.  This belated for Angie’s prompt on With Real Toads, to write an upbeat poem based on words for Eliot’s The Waste Land.  I’m in a real rush today so posting much re-cycled pic–supposed to be based on Prufrock.   Thanks.

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12 Comments on “At a Bar Where they’ve Read Some Eliot”

  1. Marian Says:

    Love the voice in this, Karin… not really catching the upbeat, unless, okay maybe it’s self-realization. Either way, I like how you describe this important moment and somehow it feels universal so I approve. Though “sticking to my people” could end up in disappointment as well. But at least it’s a choice, some acknowledgement and moving forward. Anyway love it.


  2. Oh I love how you turned Eliot into conversation.. and making it almost surreal.. so many times conversations are disconnected, and real communication goes in other layers like smells…

  3. hedgewitch Says:

    Unguented/ungented really works well, k, as do the Elliotish(and Poundish?) allusions.Very rich work from a solid vein of postmodern treasure.


  4. Oh, this is fantastic. I agree with Bjorn about loving how you turned the poem into a conversation. Amazing work

  5. Polly Says:

    Aha! The elephant! I’ve not seen him for a while…my fave 😀


  6. Okay, can I just say how happy I was to read the title?! Way to set the tone here and lighten all that is Wasteland. Jug, jug, jug…swallow, swallow…delicious. I especially like the confession that he still smells good. Can’t live with ’em…can’t live… Thanks for the smiles.

  7. whimsygizmo Says:

    MAN, I love the voice you’ve taken on here! And your title is fantastic!

  8. Rommy Says:

    The nod to Prufrock is adorable, though I think the speaker of the poem isn’t quite as defeated as old Alfred J was. I think they’ll bounce back nicely.


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