The Wiseman and The Drunk (a poem for you)

2 years, 2 months ago

So I wrote this beat poem for an open mic. It is one of my favorite things I have written recently. I hope you enjoy it and maybe even get a little out of it :)


I suppose it was about a year ago…
I was out for my leisurely stroll for which I so seldomly seem to set aside space in my schedule. I walked past the shell of a man who once lived the American dream, but had since lost that shimmering gleam and digressed to “God Bless” on a shrunken billboard made of brown pulp that used to serve as a door… to his recently renovated efficiency.

The walls that remained sported red letters that called out “fragile,” “handle with care”, and the smell of whiskey hung in the air.
It was that awkward moment where you justify the absence of charity because with crystal clarity you know where that money will go.

“He just wants to get drunk,” I thought as I walked through the vacant lot that separated me from the local pub. I guess somehow I deserved that drink more than the man who could only think about what it was like to sleep somewhere that was not… a vacant lot.

I entered the bar and didn’t make it far before I spotted a friend enjoying the end of a frosty refreshment. This guy and I had become best friends that only see each other after the day ends, and we worked hard to forget how we’d gotten there in the first place.

I took a seat beside him at the bar, started to say hey… but didn’t get far before the tender turned to me, and in a friendly voice said “What’ll it be?”
“A glass of brandy if you’ve got it handy… and how about another for my brother?” I said as I pointed to my friend at the end of the bar.

We sat and carried on merrily and rarely we said something of substance. We were like best friends playing life-long catch up only never to be caught up.
I remembered what he said only long enough to forget it as I stared at the woman in red, dreaming I could hit it.
About 5 drinks in I begin to remember the man in the vacant lot.

It was amazing to me that this man couldn’t see
“God Bless” was ironic,
I thought as I sipped on a gin and tonic.

I wonder what he felt God had done,
maybe made whiskey, but the man had none.
And here I had it all,
wasting time, staring at the wall.

It was at this point that I exited the bar and rounded the corner into the vacant lot.

There was the man, smoking some pot.
As I stumbled by, the man said “care for a hit?” and extended a joint, already lit.
As I pulled upon the paper, the daylight began to taper. The harsh smoke of burning plant matter entered my chest, and the tasty herb but my mind at rest.

The man looked at me and we locked eye-to-eye and at first I thought I was just really high… but he said.

“All we need is in the air,
born by tree or nurtured there.
Many desire silver and gold;
that’s all they chase till they grow old.
Trading time for money,
to spend on things,
they never think,
to spread their wings.

Do not follow the folly of fools.
Do not follow all of the rules.”

Well, his words caught me off guard and the pot was hitting me hard.
so much to his dismay, I turned to walk away.

He saw my weariness and said
“hey man I can clearly see,
now you need this more than me
I don’t have much but this I’ll give
a bottle of water, you need to live
I didn’t get this for free,
but here… this drink’s on me.”

December 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm

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Profile photo of Kristian Jaded Kristian Jaded (@mentalkink) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

@liveitloveit, I really do love this! Its written very well, the flow is lovely and imagery is transcending. I think it just really hits base with me, because I’ve been where this person has been, the drinking and common friendships lost with no cause or means. And the relationship with the man carrying the sign is great. aha, I love it.

Its beautiful. Thank you for sharing :)

Profile photo of Olivia Olivia (@lolivia) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

Beautiful! I would love to hear this….

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