The Whisky Blot
You cannot carbon date hate or deception
I overhear a man with oversized teeth and undersized eyes
say to a woman with more body piercings than I could count
this as a brand-new pick-up line
at a pseudo-philosophical bar
full of those who had given up
on everything except the art of giving up.
The woman starting her second dry martini
(as I finish my first beer, the toothy man his fourth)
claimed she talked earlier to a disguised scientist who cried
and said there was prehistoric hatred and dishonesty.
When she tires of the toothy man and turns her attention
to a conversationalist with a cheerful gap-tooth grin
I decide to ask a random sample of revellers
in this pseudo-philosophical bar
if they had seen anything blessed or sacred
on any wall or ceiling
the larger the sample
the more chance for accuracy
it took me a second beer
to come up with this
the dynamics of cogitation and inebriation
are mysterious indeed.
Canadian poet, fiction writer, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published 23 books, including Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2014), Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell (Stories, Ekstasis Editions, 2015), An Unauthorized Biography of Being (Stories, Ekstasis Editions, 2016), Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be (Poetry, Guernica Editions, 2017), A Visit to the Kafka Café (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2018), Gregor Samsa Was Never in The Beatles (Stories, Ekstasis Editions, 2019), Morning Bafflement and Timeless Puzzlement (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2020), Somewhat Absurd, Somehow Existential (Poetry, Guernica Editions, 2021), and Acting on the Island (Stories, Pottersfield Press, 2022).
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