On receiving a free beer [poem]

The rumour moved like a bore along the river
displacing all the chairs and tables
away from the municipal pavement and
back within the curtilages of the various bars and restaurants.
someone muttered darkly.
I was at one of the tables and by way of recompense
for the enormous inconvenience of having to move about two metres
the waiter insisted I have a beer
on the house.
Now I had already had enough beer
thank you
but I felt it would have been churlish
to refuse his kind offer.
Naturally enough this puts me in mind of Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski
and I decide that Miller would have beaten the shit out of Bukowski
if they ever did word wrestling
in mud.
As it is - or was - they never met
so my prediction is as empty
as Miller's bottle
or Bukowski's glass.
They are, nevertheless, here with me now,
lightening my load
admiring the arrival of my free beer
spurring - and stirring - my pen
and injecting venom into my suppositions
about the various phenomena
by which I am presently surrounded.
the vacuous tattoo above the ankle of the feigned indifference
             masquerading as a blond adolescent woman to my left
the soft-lung'd drag on the long-yearned-for cigarette by the chef
            as he emerges from his evening's labours
the vivid yellow t-shirt covering the well-developed torso of the departing man 
          who looks as though he may actually have run the Athens marathon
the shared hairstyle - long, wavy - of the three student friends
           trading tales of sibling woe
the bulky German tourists, friends perhaps lovers, contentedly  smoking
            after their excessive meal
the sweaty refuse workers clearing the late evening streets 
        on generous overtime allowances
the swell of optimistic youths deciding which of these bars
          is the one in which they will waste the remainder of their evening
Enough.  I have run out of both beer and paper.


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