Wednesday, June 05, 2019

The Ocean's Calling

—Poems by John Patrick Robbins, Knotts Island, NC
—Anonymous Photos of Knotts Island


We sat there at the bar.

It was after a reading.

I was getting sloshed as usual ‘cause how else would a man sit through people
 rambling through their feelings?

She was beautiful and everyone took notice; her words didn't matter with a rack
 that any true hunter would take pride in taking home.

I had her laughing and that was always my most resourceful tool.

That and the fact I could afford my own drinks and didn't give a damn to talk
 about poetry.

She told me she was single.
So I kept her talking and bought her drinks.

She told me about her life.
Then asked me what time was it.
Then informed me she had a kid at home and her sister was watching her seven-
 year-old son.

I asked if her sister was single or had any kids.

She told me she hated kids and was a total slut, and slept with anything that
 had pulse.

She also said she would like to see me again.

I handed her a pen and a bar napkin, asking for her sister’s number instead.

She told me to go fuck myself and stormed off.

I watched her head out the door, surveyed the room.

Spotted a women half-lit, drinking alone in a corner booth.

Looks like I was onto another round of speed-dating tonight.


She was a forbidden pleasure
 and I never could resist a good time.

Nights are best kept secret,
 but with writers, nothing between you and the page is sacred.

And no matter my efforts, every
 thought was only a twisted highway between her and my ever-so-bad choices. 

I poured the drinks and she
 set the trap.

I may have known it was doomed
 to begin with.

I may have been many things.
When it came to her, smart was
 never one of them.


I prefer to have strippers for
 breakfast and a side of little regrets and maybe a double shot of Jack Daniels for     
 my coffee.

Do nothing until the sun sets
 then make the bars as usual.
Make others laugh and a few
 cringe with some very inappropriate jokes.

Burn the candle at both ends
 and maybe burn a little something extra too.

Stagger home and rinse with
 a little hundred-proof and probably forget to feed that dog.

But I'm sure he will enjoy whatever
 I splatter upon the floor.

As I pass out alone in hopes
 to not see another day.

Sharing my vices and if lucky
 that night, sharing my bed.

It's a cruel cycle I must repeat
 but I have to party for those less fortunate fools who embrace the grind and know  
 a wife and kids.

It's a sacrifice but I'm a selfless

Prosit my friends.


We all crave something.
A drink, a fix, a simple release
 from the bullshit of living this so-called life day to day.

Practice is for the piano.
And although I been chasing
 ass most my adult life, I have become far from an expert.

The next round sounds far more
 desirable than a second-chance sweetheart.

Maybe I'm getting too old or
 maybe common sense is finally kicking in.

I will keep watch over the whiskey.

And allow others to chase false
 hopes with little chance of a happy ending.
Whoever believes all poets are
 secretly romantics clearly has never read me.



I have sold books, been published
 in just about everywhere.
I never needed a stupid screen
 name or a gimmick to hide behind.

Course I been writing longer
 than most, living life instead of making it up.

Drinking far too much and convincing
 myself that the good times weren't more than addictions in disguise.

I didn't run workshops and didn't
 care for the novice opinion.

I had isolated myself on every
And lost everyone along the

I never hid behind a screen
Cause if I didn't believe in
 something I wouldn't have written it to begin with.

Don't be a novice.
You can't swim in the kiddie
 pool forever.

The ocean’s calling.


Today’s LittleNip:

Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.

—Thomas Gray


Thanks, John Robbins, for your poetry today from the beautiful Knotts Island in South Carolina! John Patrick Robbins is the editor of both
The Rye Whiskey Review and Under The Bleachers. He is also the author of Sex Drugs & Poetry from Whiskey City Press, and Once Upon A Nervous Breakdown from Soma Publishing. His work has been published in Ariel Chart, The Mojave River Review, The San Pedro River Review, Red Fez, Punk Noir Magazine, Blognostics, Romingos Porch, Beatnik Cowboy, The Dope Fiend Daily, Blue Pepper, Piker Press. He says his work is always unfiltered. Thanks again, John, for your visit, and don’t be a stranger!

Clive Matson holds many workshops in the Bay Area; this one is called “The Beat Aesthetic: Why We Need It Today” and is on-going, held on the 2nd Saturday of the month at Omni Commons, 4799 Shattuck, Oakland. (See The date on that flyer is for May, but elsewhere I see that they will also meet this coming Saturday, June 8. Don’t be shy about jumping in; it’s drop-in, with a $5 donation.

Poetry Off-the-Shelves will meet tonight from 5-7pm at El Dorado Hills Library on Silva Valley Parkway in El Dorado Hills. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about this and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.

—Medusa, celebrating the tough words of poetry that burns

 John Patrick Robbins

Photos in this column can be enlarged by
clicking on them once, then clicking on the x
in the top right corner to come back to Medusa.