Last Night

Last night I drank to one too many pretty women
last night I fed on a feast of friends,
this morning my mind is filled with lip-stick
and my memory is fat from remembering,
that the world can be piss stained and glorious
at the same time as the kind earth's head
be black-bagged and hung with hempen rope
like a black American found guilty of being poor.

Last night I kicked a door down to get to you
last night I picked you up so easily, this morning
you stink my room out, an editors corpse drunk
dry and returned, the words downed by one shot.
Where can a poet go now but out into the streets
petrol bomb poured, zip lighter cocked
flame flickering, the wick cool and blue
like the soul inside a burning monk?


Today you poured out one too few drinks
today you starved on a famine of loves,
this evening your heart is empty of kisses
and your dreams are thin from forgetting,
that the moon can be fog bound and mysterious
at the same time as the cruel seas open and wide
be white-winged and free on the soft warm blows
like an African pearl asleep in the black tide.

Today you rapped on my mind like a top ten
today you picked me up so slowly, this evening
you scent my hiding place, a writers thirst sobered
up and hidden, the words found by your eyes.
Where can a poet be now but inside the moment
double whiskey singular, ice cubes floating
heat haze rising, the liquid red and black
like the bonfire of our love letters in Autumn?


Tomorrow I will fill up one too many places
tomorrow I will gorge on a banquet of hates,
in this future my mind is full of faces
and my regrets are stuffed from promises,
that the sun will forever burn towards its end
at the same time as the kind earth opens its hand
be black coal spinning in the hard cold of space,
an American soldier at peace in a white desert.

Tomorrow you will calm me down like King Cole
tomorrow you will put me down so hard, that evening
you will leave me losing everything, a writer's secrets
made obvious, the words written by your listens.
Where can a poet be then but outside futurity
cards dog-eared, hot thoughts gambled
cold dice rolled, my falling cuts left bleeding here,
the snakeskin of your devil hanging on my bedpost?

John G. Hall

If you've any comments on this poem, John G. Hall would be pleased to hear from you.