Sunday, 26 January 2014

Stale Sweat and Beer

I was blogging at a far superior rate when I first began this blog but the last 6-9 month have seen a distinct regression in my blogging activities, which I intend to rectify. Although I have said that before. One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing my blog, apart from having some communication over my work and projects, was the encouragement that I received at various points regarding my writing. I posted a very rough draft of a chapter from my virginal book and was surprised at the interest and critical commentary that followed which kick started my own interest and vigour in finishing it. Which I duly have. I'll post another chapter later this week, and then figure out where I go from here with the finished book. I may not have made the decision to persevere with the book if I had not posted it initially.

I'd like to make a side note about 'Cold', the film which many of you reading this blog have contributed to or encouraged in some fashion, and have no fear you are not forgotten! The film is in a period of hiatus whilst I re-edit some sequences and figure out the best approach to releasing it, which is the only reason that it has gone quiet since Galway.....but I will arrive with more news soon..I'll send a private scene from the film to all the contributors in the next weeks to keep the appetite whetted.

Anyway, it's been a while since I last posted a poem, so I'm going to kick start my renewed attempts at blogging with one that I wrote over Christmas whilst waiting for a friend to join for a drink in a small bar in Dublin.


"Stale sweat and beer"


The smell of stale
Wet beer
Salt, lemon and dirt
Covers his fingers
And he runs them through his
Greasy hair quickly.

His skin is shiny
With a thin sheen of sweat
That sticks to
The inside of his shirt
And darkens the colour
To a hard blue.

Noises rush around his
Shaken head;
Taps fizzing, tills clicking
Voices rising and falling
Like the tide in a storm,
Changing unannounced.

His legs ache from the
Working day,
His toes cold where wet
Beer spilled down off
The counter
And soaked through his shoes.

It's hard to like people
On these heavy days
When etiquette
Leaves their faces
For the lowly barman
Who is simply there to serve.

He pauses for a moment
To take a sip
From his warm whiskey,
Savouring the heat
And crunching down on
The bitter lemon between his teeth.

Turning back
To the audible rush
Roaring about his face;
A spittle mixed cacophony
Of noise lewdly
Jostles for supremacy,

And he immediately wishes
That he was still
Sucking the lemon.
Confused tired faces
Gesticulate wildly for
Their chosen beverage.

He ignores them all
And walks to the
Far end of the bar,
Blocking out the
Wave of sound
That steeps his vision.

An old man sits there,
Lonely and welcoming.
He nurses a Guinness
Fondly, resting
His fingers lightly
On the cold glass.

Looking up from
Beneath a furrowed brow
his eyes dance.
The liveliness exciting
His old bones.
Giving him life.

He smiles at the barman,
Acknowledges the
Chaos around,
Then sips from his
Pint slowly,
still smiling.

The barman watches
Him for a moment
Then accepts his fate,
But brings part
Of the Old Man back
To the chaos with him