Bartender, pour me a drink Free of the ashes and ink I smoked and spilled for years With every high spoiled by tears. I'll wade through the dead for a taste Of any potion brewed to replace The gasping thirst in my throat To devour all I wrote, But if I can hold it down I'm ready for the next round, And if I don't choke on rhyme, We will toast again in time.
Some knotted and tightened ropes To blacken their brains or hopes. Others switched spikes and rails Plunging when their hammer fails. I went from bloom to blotto Preaching more as my motto, But there's no profit for drunks To drink where the dead are sunk And, wet for wear, shed more tears For their bloody, wasted years. No poem can call that bluff, I've chased these voices enough And what they would have me do Is drink until I am through.
Bartender, serve the ghouls Who still crown the bony stools Strangling shots with shaking fists, Scars slashing their necks and wrists. For me, though, the taps are dry, Soured by the bitter lie That even the strongest stuff Is never quite strong enough. I write these words on barroom glass Before pushing off at last, If it's empty, my brother, Where one bottle came from, There's always another.