Pub Religion


His brow grows thoughtful at my question –
vexed, even,
if you take into consideration his high forehead,
now crumpled like the pages of a shithouse magazine.
Tasting the venom on his tongue –
forked, no doubt –
he mulls over a response by biting down on his bottom lip.
He downs his drink and belch-orders another whiskey and lime.

The bartender’s eyes flash brass-belled pleas,
Go home already, lads!
but there’s no way in the deepest pits of hell I’m heading home,
not before the man with the magazine frown responds.

A heavy-set barmaid senses trouble;
she’s wiping away –
authoritative strokes –
the impregnated smell of cigarette butts
and stale ale from empty tables.
The front door jerks open –
the wind, thin,
yet strong enough to breathe life into the dying embers,
smoking to light the fireplace with devilish fire tongues.

The silhouette of a man appears the entrance –
axe in hand –
shower curtains of rain behind a set of shoulders so broad,
he could be a walking brick shithouse
wearing stained magazine pages for clothes.

He shuts the door.
The windows rattle.

A raven,
nestled in the neck folds of the giant’s leather coat,
cocks its under the man’s long, matted locks;
the bird registers its new surroundings
with a flash of intelligence
in the black marble of its whip-smart eyes
before grooming its weather-greased feathers.

My drinking partner breaks the ice
by choking on a cube;
spewin’ and spillin’ the rest of his beverage
down the front of his shirt,
over the cherry wood counter.

His face is pale,
his lips the colour of dead maggots;
no need for him to reply to my query;
the answer I’m looking for walks toward us,
growing larger with each echo of his heavy boots,
hand crafted,
the finest crocodile leather money can buy,
shining like the silver of his whiskey flask
reflected in the raven’s eyes:

Bacchus is alive.

words by Ramon Ramirez

art by Craig Hopson

One thought on “Pub Religion

  1. Weehiyeu!

    Light blue heels, not spikes, but wide-heeled, butt-shaping
    sandals stroll below a woman with Kyung Jung’s hairdo.
    Where is Kyung Jung now? In Paris, Alex, Raleigh, Schnurr?
    This family, three daughters within six years, could be my
    brother, eight years ago, both parents tired, looking everywhere
    but at each other. Today’s sadness is short, vivid, bubbling
    up from a bad day with a caddy, bad memories, bad timing,
    and this book, slap-dash, not acceptable, not funny, digging in to
    marriage, spirituality, pulling 100-hour weeks to try to exist in a
    place that will not accept me no matter where I stand. Counterweight
    comes when young ladies model, wise ladies tease, short lady put
    hair up into pigtails to play youngster, attempting to “cute” her way
    into a grade. Later you find out her English is shaky, analysis flawed
    logic unavailable, proclaiming herself prettiest, but nowhere near it.
    Unabashed freshman exudes the youth-dominated sexual revolution
    that openly threatens centuries of Confucianism. Her parents may have
    broken the rules themselves, but, as a tiny closet minority. Plastered pink-
    shirted princesses vomit, get pulled to taxis crying for their lives, amazed
    about alcohol poisoning, blowing off Monday, still bent by Friday. Here
    the gents don’t take advantage of this, still pure, or too drunk themselves.


    Liked by 1 person

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