Nameless Beerhouse Elegy
by Angelo V. Suárez
"True company is rare and must be kept
raw with drink, distance, a few fangs, and scandals."
Ricardo M. De Ungria
Why people call this place "Kittens"
you will never understand, save for nights
the occasional cat drops by for its ration
of strokes & random caresses. Or why
people sometimes call it "Batcave"
when no bat at all hangs upside-down
its topside of peeling paint & rotting wood
to sleep or drop its share of guano.
What you do know is what goes straight
to your heads no longer comes out
alcohol but wisdom, that what passes
thru your veins is not polluted blood
but verses, satanic ones, the type
that finds itself not scrawled on pages
but floating on a puddle of puke
disgorged by a friend who has long
since drifted away. And you miss
him; each bottle you raise each time
is a tribute to him whom you met
at the nearby school a street-cross
away where once in your lives you
called each other brothers, allies
of the pen, this pointless vocation.
Volition be your guide, erudition
on craft the raft that sails you thru
stormy seas of imagination, rivulets
of beer, puke, imagery, & metaphor
pathways that lead to that homeland
you call poem. And this place serves
as port of passage, & life has never
been the same since you got here.
What you aim for's not for wimps,
a poet wrote, & not for wimps it is.
Imps, maybe; perhaps even enemies
one of whom you once shared this
table with, chicharong bulaklak,
isaw as convoluted as your friendships,
your lives. And there isn't any name
for this sort of familiarity, the way no one
has names for things that truly matter,
like this beerhouse, for instance
for which all you do now is approximate
nomenclatures, as always. Make do
with monikers momentary as memory,
fleeting as a friend's face, passing
quickly like occasional cats, imaginary
bats, their crap falling at a speed
you wish could also apply to forgetting.
© Angelo V. Suárez