Chris Wakefield

“i miss being an alcoholic”

I miss being an alcoholic.

In the bar nearest to my bed
I sit with temples pounding
Jaw clenched tight
To the rim of a pint
Confused between plateaus
Of being in love and being alone

But I’ve known worse paralogia
Than feigning some grand re-entrance
To the alcohol game

Where the quiet menu loners
and couples giggling bubbles
and smoke-free loud mouths
all talk smack, slap thighs and sigh
Glorifying reeking gullets 

With me somewhere in
between heaven and hell
1/3 of the way down a brew
Hesitant and slow to continue. 

I miss being an alcoholic.

Descending into delirious visions
Of feet shuffling through hell
Sick and shaking beneath the altar bells.

Chaos was easy
Things would come and things would go
Now the years have dragged me
through the back alleys of my life. 

They left me wise and stumbling
dumb and dizzy, staggering sober
into the neon hype of ritzy watering holes,
silent and precocious and bitterly preachy,
proudly unsure of what I don’t know. 

The good times of madness have gone
It long ago soured and it all went wrong
It ceased to be innocent or youthful
It ceased to be simple or flagrant fun. 

This scene is stale.
It smells like secret burping bottles
Buried in forgotten skeletal closets. 

The mirrored wall behind the bar
sparkles mildly, lit by lights
of spectral yellows reflecting,
refracting off curved edged crystal
In the shimmering room
like disco ball stars. 

The great wall of liquor seemed glorious
Ascending the wall like angels
Descending from the heavens,
Here to let us lap up their tonic
from golden god-graced goblets. 

I miss being nostalgic. 

I huddle over the counter
staring into the orange bubbles
twirling the cool glass
In a little pool of condensation
Feeling down and out
to the song that loiters
Just below the ceiling 

Like my father once
told me he used to do.
Lonely, docked in a port
somewhere in the 1970’s
Missing his mother, prowling for girls
out on the town with the rest of the boys
Sitting on a creaking bar stool 

Bent over
and quiet
in his long lost
Navy Blues.


Chris Wakefield is a poet and singer/songwriter currently living in Kensington, San
Diego. His solo album “Steelyards” is free online at facebook.com/chriswakefieldmusic and chriswakefield.bandcamp.com.

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