Bargaining

I was thirteen.
I was cast as a nineteen year old.

The casting director
was my thirteen year old friend who wanted beer.

I was cast
to walk into a liquor store and purchase a six pack.

He wanted Heineken.
We had just enough money for Red White & Blue.

Yes. Red White & Blue—
a brand of beer originally brewed by Pabst.

It was very patriotic.
It saw its best sales during World War Two.

It is a dead brand now.
Current Pabst executives consider resurrecting it, but don’t.

I was cast to be a nineteen year old
because I was six feet five inches tall at thirteen.

My friend was barely five-seven
in his stocking feet.

My friend thought I would do this bit of theater
for three of the six cans.

I did this bit of theater
for his Ron Santo autographed baseball.

The liquor store clerk
never looked high enough to see my young face.

My friend and I ran into contract difficulties
while making this a recurring role.

The next time he cast me to be nineteen,
I asked for his Ernie Banks autographed baseball card.

It would have been easier
to pry St. Peter’s bones away from the Pope.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Projects

Napkin manifesto
memory dump
public therapy session
with green gel roller pen
does nothing
to improve
neon sign diner’s
antiseptic food
and apron wearing
blue haired waitresses
whose financial planners
were as savvy
as discarded beer bottles
along the narrow gauge
rusted train tracks
and all the Tupperware
leftovers becoming
biological science
projects.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Pub Food

On Tuesdays it’s quarter beer night
and two hot dogs are seventy-five cents.
That includes each and all of the traditional everything
that can go on a hot dog and bun.

Two hots dogs for seventy-five cents
brings the quality of the hot dogs into question,
unless they were purchased from some chain smoking mob type
at the back of a stolen delivery truck with the motor running.

The quarter beers are limited to domestic national brand taps,
not the local craft beers that are on tap as well.
Got to read the fine print of any advertising poster,
if you only have a dollar to your name.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

POST SCRIPT

This is a nostalgia poem. I have not seen quarter beer night since the early 1990s. I have not had only a dollar to my name since the early 1990s either. I do remember the people sitting around the pub, eating bratwurst or hotdogs, drinking our beers and watching baseball in the general camaraderie of the pub. My memory has probably makes the times seem better than they were, but such is the way of memories.

Love & Light

Kenneth