Self Portrait as Piano Bar
Swinging doors from a hokey western. Spittoon
clashes with dim blue light from the prop bar.
No resident mixologist, drink cliches arrive
when needed for a gesture or lip wetting sip
or to dive to the bottom of, plastic bathing doll
in a ball point pen. Come on in. Sit a spell.
Set your elbows on my piano, and I’ll listen
while you flirt with her universe. And if now
and then some word–“September” or “snap”–
strikes a synapse my fingers will reply lightly
in the rain, your fingers I’ll come running. And
I’ll pick up the mic. The spot follows, creating
a cone of dimness around the smooth-worn
old phrases that are at the heart of it all.