Before You Accuse Me

If you see a poem smoking, it’s not
one of mine. My poems don’t suck on
cigarettes or cigars and my poems certainly don’t
chew tobacco. What an ugly poem it would
be that would chew tobacco and spit that
brown saliva into a can and keep that
can next to its overstuffed recliner in front
of the TV with the baseball game on
and  the volume turned up way too loud.
No, my poems don’t use tobacco. Drink? Yes,
my poems drink. They drink more than their
share. If you made two Manhattans, my poem
would drink your cocktail first and quickly, before
you could stop it and then sit back
and sip on its own drink, daring you
to complain, on implied threat of getting your
butt kicked. Yes, my poems drink and become
obnoxious and you don’t want to make a
spectacle of yourself. So, you sit there and
pretend that everything is alright, even though everything
is never alright. That’s why my poems drink;
because everything can’t be alright. That’s the way
of the world. To not let everything be
alright. So, my poems drink. They drink a
lot and have expensive taste. They want only
the most expensive liquor in their gut. My
poems like to get drunk. Call them alcoholics
if you want but my poems will tell
you they drink because they like the taste
and the affects of liquor and they like
the way they humiliate themselves daily in front
of strangers and family alike. And if they
drink because they are addicted, all the better,
as they say. My poems are happy to
be addicted to liquor. That way they don’t
have to put any effort into getting drunk
and embarrassing me. So, the next time you
see a poem in a lounge, wait to
see if it is drinking to excess before
you accuse me of continuing to write poetry.

by Thomas Wigington

(I wrote this poem after reading Nate Pritts’ book of poetry, Big Bright Sun.)

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