Drunken Poem — Free Drink Event, Vodka

The jalapeno one is too hot –
too hot for me.

My friend forgot, her week was bad.

Alone hoping for snacks,
watching airbrush tattoo artist, determined not
to leave before the sun sinks,
hoping if my picture is captured in the photographer’s camera,
that I look much better than usual, not so scared.
As I am.

Writing seems strange with so many people around, so social,
laughing.
What else can a determined girl/woman do?
Decades old on the outside,
inside twelve remembering thirty-five
as if it was yesterday’s prepubescent dream.
Happy birthdays to me,
all of them past, and
even tomorrow’s
when I may not care –
today may be their only party.
Drink it up now as if it’s on sale
ninety per cent off,
as good as stolen.
Does this mean I’m free tonight,
from,
to,
what?

***********

This was written last night after the swiftness of vodka, which I’m not used to. In the light of day, I did minimal editing (so I wouldn’t erase the drunkenness), then added formatting and punctuation so it could be read the way I heard it in my head as I scribbled it down. There’s only one poem because I did find a few people to make small talk with before the sun went down in the rooftop space we were in.

Below, my temporary tattoos. Once I was drunk, I went ahead and got in line to be painted. The advertising was mandatory or you couldn’t get a cool one. I chose Thrillist, one of the sponsors, instead of Stoli Sticki (honey-flavored, good in the citrus drinks and the one with ginger beer) or Stoli Hot (!hot!) I chose the bird because it was pretty. At least, I think it’s a bird. There’s no glitter even though it may seem so. I don’t do glitter. Something about my skin’s angle to the light created that effect, kinda nice. I actually like how glitter looks sometimes. I just prefer not to touch it. But that’s a story for another time.

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22 thoughts on “Drunken Poem — Free Drink Event, Vodka

  1. Ooooh pretty bird. My favorite lines are

    “inside twelve remembering thirty-five
    as if it was yesterday’s prepubescent dream.”

    I like the way that encompasses the sense of someone looking back on life and remembering anticipating growing up from childhood as well as that comfortable floating feeling that comes along with drunkenness.

    • Thanks, Jessie. I’m glad it wasn’t too drunk for you to find some sense in it. It’s funny how that anticipation flows toward the same thing, as if the middle is a low spot that collects most of the hopes and dreams. I was writing it from a different place, I think. Floating, yes, but far from comfortably.

    • Yeah, like I might have if my determination hadn’t ruled. Slow but steady, and with the little triangles of cheese and vegetable quesadillas they passed around, I got home in one piece. I’m glad this made some sense to you too, Anna.

  2. Lovely tattoo, and I do like the glitter effect of the light. And hell yes to the drunken poem. Much better than the political rant I threw down last night, which seems kind of awful in the light of day.

    • Oh, Averil. I think you may be as hard on yourself as I am on myself. Whip it into the shape you’d prefer and share it with us. Lord knows I’ve gone all politically naked here time and time again, but then again, I’m surprised I haven’t taken some of them down. (I’m still thinking about it.)

      I really liked that tattoo, too :). I still can’t imagine myself getting a real one. I was afraid for the tattooer, breathing in all that airborne paint, over and over, so how could I ever get drunk enough to let someone force ink under my skin?

      And thanks for the hell yes. That made me smile.

  3. This poem is wonderful, and I love this stanza, so *very* much! —

    Alone hoping for snacks,
    watching airbrush tattoo artist, determined not
    to leave before the sun sinks,
    hoping if my picture is captured in the photographer’s camera,
    that I look much better than usual, not so scared.
    As I am.

    The pacing is beautiful, and the details are sublime. I love how we end up stopping at “sinks” and again at “am,” which feels natural and unanticipated.

    And I agree with GH on the pretty “unravelling” effect at the end of the last stanza.

    Beautifully done, SIS!

    • Oh, Courtenay… I guess I better stop apologizing for it then. I value your opinion on this stuff, so thanks for showing me what you saw in it. I was writing down some of what I saw and felt, but I really thought it would end up in a box somewhere, hidden away. I only shared it after I named it. I thought that would keep expectations down. Thank goodness it communicated. (And please don’t hesitate to say when something doesn’t at all. I learn a lot from hearing that.)

      • One of the great pleasures of reading your poetry has been watching you emerge from tentativeness with the form to sureness with language without losing that true writer’s eye for revision.

        I just want more. That’s all. I want to read more of your poetry. You have a natural knack for it, plus that great editorial eye.

        We are friends— so if I ever see something I think you could finesse or sharpen, now that you’ve mentioned it— yes, I will.

        Please do the same for me, will you? The hardest thing about a blog versus freelancing is working without an editor as a second set of eyes, and a copy editor as a third set of eyes. It’s just me. And I only have the two eyes. : )

      • I hope this not having an editor is making us sharper. My two eyes just don’t feel up to the job, so I pray a lot. :) It was so much easier when I was a proofreader going through things I didn’t generate. Thanks for having my back as far as you can. I’ll be glad to do the same for you.

      • I hope so, too! I loved having editors. Not because I was sloppy or messy, but writing at that level is such a group effort done on such tight deadlines— the more eyes the better, you know?

        I’m so glad we have each other’s back. You are great, SIS!

  4. “Does this mean I’m free tonight,
    from,
    to,
    what?”
    I love this drunken poem, Ré. There’s a lot there. I believe that that last question sums up the intention of much our indulgences. We engage to escape, or be “free” of something on some level, no matter how small; to delay a decision; avoid more thought on a subject; or to delude ourselves from thinking that the reality is but a figment of our imagination. I might be wrong about that, but that has been my experience.

    • I’m glad you liked this, Ms. Empress.

      The thunderstorms today are aggravating me because my slightly nicer shoes get slick on the bottoms when wet and I have another invitation for tonight. I hope it goes better than this event did. I have to go out to pay my water bill anyway, so I can’t see chickening out. Here’s hoping I have fun instead of writing poetry.

  5. I absolutely love the bird tatoo. I was just voicing regret to my boyfriend that I never got one. Something about them just says independence to me.

  6. Oh, what a glorious poem. Decades old on the outside, twelve on the inside. Instant recognition of that feeling! I hope you don’t end up making too many changes to this as time passes.

  7. Aahhh! I forgot to tell you earlier how much I loved this poem and this post. I read it the day you posted it but I must have been either really jet-lagged or on the iPad where it’s too hard to type lengthy comments (probably both). I’m delighted that you got to go to this and experience temporary altered consciousness, and have yourself adorned in colors.

    I love this too, as several others have said:
    “Decades old on the outside,
    inside twelve remembering thirty-five
    as if it was yesterday’s prepubescent dream.”

    I love it because usually everyone thinks of themselves as the older self remembering the younger self, but why shouldn’t we be all our ages and selves at once?

    Much love to you. <3

    • Thanks, Lisa. Those lines you liked seem to mean different things to different people. I was awfully sad when I wrote them. The intensity of that feeling has sparked a series of small changes for me, the only ones I could make while dealing with last week’s heat. If they work, maybe I can get back some of 35. Really 37, but I thought 35 worked better as I stood in the bar writing it. The best physical time of my life mixed with all I’ve learned since, feels like it could equal big things for me. I want to see how close I can get.

      I love all the beautiful photos you’ve been sharing of your travels. I hope jet lag has let up on you.

      • It’s always so interesting how everyone brings their own outlook to a piece. Even knowing you were sad, I went back and reread the lines, and they don’t come across sad to me — though I can see how the thought would be a painful one.

        I’m glad you’re liking the photos. :) Yes, thank goodness, the jet lag is better. It’s nice to not feel like I’m standing on a ship anymore.

        I hope some of 35 (or 37) makes its way back to you — or something that feels like it!

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