Joom #13. The Souvenir.


I picked you up in a souvenir shop, as a tourist of love,

Thinking you were chintzy and as magic as a dove.

Then I saw the label:  Not Yet Made In Anyplace.

I felt the Thai craftsmanship carved into your face.


Like a statue of Buddha, you cannot be exported.

Like a plague on my heart, you ought to be reported.

I bought you but cannot keep you as the souvenir I wanted.

Instead all my hours by your absence are haunted.


Never will I shop for souvenirs again so brashly.

Never will I love again so beautiful and rashly.

Mere splinters are all that is left of the spell

That raised you to heaven and threw me in hell.

My Old Man Was a Bartender.


My old man was a bartender who pulled a lot of beer.

He never thought of wine without a strong blue collar sneer.

Twas nightclub stuff, or made in vats in ethnic basement holes,

And anyone who asked for it was cursed down to their soles.


He’s gone to where bartenders go – at least he’s off his feet.

I wonder if he’s sipping red while angel choirs bleat?

More likely he is pouring Bud for all the damned in Hell,

And still refusing vino to his thirsty clientele.


I do not shed a tear for his departure, to be frank.

He left me liking beer while thinking wine was sour swank.

But how can I develop any character at all

If I do not with some Chablis occasionally sprawl?