barroom heat lightning

a Wednesday cacophony blares in the barroom,
the empty noise from the morning has been filled
as an old jukebox roars, taking the lead
with grateful dead studio cuts, guns ‘n roses intermission

the puzzles in my mind will have to wait
while cue ball crashes, ball-to-wall
the whirling sound of solid rolls across felted marble
followed by a splash
of dense phenolic resin into the gutter
of plastic and wood- a Rube Goldberg racket follows

hands clap, glass tilts,
elbows grow lighter with each sip of ale

every so often,
hot tempers mix with icy glares,
quick and unmitigated as high-stake doubts
a stick smacks the floor from a drunkard’s fumble
he should talk louder but instead he mumbles
his hand wraps around the hips of certain trouble,
thunder rattles trees, a flash seldom seen

fast as a falling leaf,
the drunkard’s on the ground,
picking up teeth

like this, another cue ball scatters perfect pyramids, fifteen
faster as an oil-stained fist splits skin, shatters pearly whites

“spilt beer is a waste!”
the drunkard bemoans his lost beverage
‘cus it takes a young back one day to make a hundred bucks
while blood flows as free and warm as the summer breeze

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