Thursday, December 19, 2013


The Betty Poems

I haven't had a drink
in almost ten years,
but I've thought about it.
Unlike dope kicking,
nobody told me I should
or had to do it.
I just stopped.

The problem with dead things like
booze or junk is
you never stop loving them.

Anyway, my girl is coming in
to spend some time with me;
she likes me and
she likes to drink
and I
would like to have a cocktail
with her.
Why not?
Why can't I?
I'm a double sixes male.
Thinkin about this shit
is silly
dontcha think?
It is silly.

I've played it out:
We'll sit in a restaurant,
she'll order a red wine;
I'll offhandedly order a scotch.
She'll look at me.
I'll pretend I'm cool, no big deal.
She'll pretend I'm cool, no big deal,
but she'll know it is.
I'll continue whatever conversation
we're having because I'm afraid she'll know
that the only thing I can think about now
is when that fucking waiter is gonna return with that pretty glass half filled with a honey colored escape liquid
and where the fuck is he already, already
tasting the drink
and a hand
with much too much time on their hand
settles the two glasses in front of us
and we look at the liquids in each of our glasses
and smile to each other and toast
to us being together and in love and having all the world in front of the old fucks that we've become
and I will sip the drink
and taste the sweetness at first,
like suddenly remembering a word you loved and used often once again is in your mouth waiting to be swallowed waiting
to do its job
and it goes down, smoothly so smoothly
and the warmth gets to your back and your shoulders and to your neck and suddenly ten years of doubts and fears and wants and desires come in second
and a warm feeling wraps around your chest and belly and another sip and your brain suddenly is ready to love freely
without constraints and your words begin bouncing dancing out of your mouth and you might smile more easily or laugh and the other catches your beat with her own beat and you're grooving along...and now you're waiting for that fucking waiter to come back so you can sheepishly look at your love and point to both your glasses and order another and you say "don't worry" "don't worry, baby, one more, it's cool, one more," and you lean back smile secure in your element because there is no element except your internal element and you grin to yourself because you're back home.

The day after...
if we got through the night
without killing each other...
I'd spend thinking how
I could turn her toward booze
sometime tonight. I know that.
Rather than take that chance
I'll think about the three sticks
of pot I have in my drawer
that I've been trying to sell
to stay afloat. They will
make me feel alive--perhaps paranoid--
but very much alive.
If I take a chance,
it will be on living,
not the other.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2013

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