Half Drunk Muse Poetry

Submissions

Paradise Never Found by Dan Provost

Jim's pleasures
were often too hazy for him
to remember.
He babbled his story, staggering
from bar to bar.
Begging for one last bourbon fix to
lead him into a
			drunken
			tomorrow.

Lisa had her territory staked out at
the corner of Smitty's.
A gin and tonic keeping her company,
the latest in a long line of men
to leave her high and dry over
the years.
Sad, sad story.

One night,
as Jim set out to sample the unexplored
taverns he felt it
necessary
to conquer.
He stumbled into Smitty's.
And with a gleam in his eye,
but terror in his heart,
he saw the dirty blond haired Lisa
licking her wounds
at the end of the bar.

Limitation in conversations are
saved by a shot of Uncle Johnny's.

So Jim ordered one.
As he reached into his pocket to get the
two bits,

Lisa's eyes met his.
And for a moment,
loneliness was over.

Jim paid the barkeep.
And as he brushed his filthy hand on his
tattered shirt,
he glanced over Lisa's way again.

But this time
she was involved with her drink.
Staring long and hard at the lime that
gave the sour taste to the escape she
had been long used to.

Studying.
Analyzing.
For her, this was safe.

Jim turned away.
His attention now where
it has been for so many years.

The shot.
The buzz.
The bubbles from the whisky rose
to the top of the glass.

With one fast gulp
the drink was gone.
Feeding the brain with necessary
forgiveness, for ever, ever
letting his guard down.

Quickly,
Jim relieved himself and headed for the exit.
As he reached out to turn the rusty door knob,
he glanced one more time toward the corner.

To where Lisa was.
For maybe one last chance
at who knows what.

Jim justified to himself that it would
have been to simple.
So the disappointment he felt,
as he looked
and saw Lisa fully involved
with "Wheel of Fortune" on TV,
was easily erased.
As he left Smitty's
never to return.

Lisa,
she spends her time in solitude.
Never breaking her vow to the misery
she has placed upon herself.

The hours pass.
The years come and go.
Her life spirals from one drink to the next.

But pain must endure.
For life's sacred secret
must remain silent
to some. 

View bio for Dan Provost Published in All Poems 1999-2004

About HDM

Half Drunk Muse was one of the first poetry ezines. It was founded in 1999 and ceased publication in 2006.

Questions/comments? Email samiller@halfdrunkmuse.com.