Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Another bonding moment

Drink and poetry, poetry and drink are great things for bringing people together, for helping us to recognise hidden kinships.

One of my party piece recitations is the Charles Bukowski poem 'Beer' (one of the great love poems, I think - to drink, if not to women.... though to women too, in a sad, twisted kind of way). I happened to mention the first lines in passing (without explanation or attribution) to one of my new, occasional bar cronies, Danny The Aging Hippy, and his face immediately lit up in recognition - "Oh my god! You know Bukowski??" We were fast friends from that moment on.

That opening is:

I don't know how many bottles of beer I have consumed
While waiting for things to get better

I haven't got time to include the whole thing here (go and find it for yourselves, if you don't already know it), but it ends:

Beer, beer, beer
Rivers and seas of beer
The radio singing love songs
While the telephone remains silent
And the walls stand
Straight up and down
And beer is all there is

I think we all know that feeling, don't we?

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