In The Artist’s Circle Café – a poem

Plastic rococo table cloths,
Iron chairs painted white with paisley cushions on them,
Sitting here I think,
This place is so much of me,
The bohemian myth;
Local dives as obscure as their patrons,
If I remain obscure I have to be good,
That’s all part of the package deal
It comes along with success with women,
With men too,
Precious thought coming from someone
who has be chaste for four years
Chastity was my idea at first.
“Getting away from the emotional suicide
of one night stands.” I called it.
To be totally honest, I don’t know what I meant,
But I’m sure it sounded reasonable at the time.
The bohemian life, yes, well,
Clothes always ill fitted,
Beer is something to be drunk only at home,
Here in this chintzy café
It is a quarter carafe of the house white wine
That boarders on being vinegar.
Smoking cigarettes one after another
Out of a beat up cigarette case,
Stealing lines from other work
Because I haven’t ever had an original idea,
At least not one I could do anything with.
Two tables down there is a man telling a woman
That he is going to have an exhibit soon,
He doesn’t know where,
He hasn’t chosen the place yet.
And I, I am to give a reading soon,
I know where – here!
I will stand up on one of these tables and read,
Read with the passion and intensity of a stag in rut.
Someone will listen, I hope,
And maybe, if I’m lucky,
I’ll get laid by some young bleary eyed girl
Who doesn’t realize that:
I am this café.

© denis bernicky

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