Judas Noose Tavern: A Poem

Posted on: October 19, 2009
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By Charles Brooks


“He who makes a beast of himself
gets rid of the paid of being a man.”
-Samuel Johnson

Last night I walked with William Faulkner,
hoping to have laughs and a drink.
Two gents together at the Judas Noose Tavern,
where all sons of Bacchus meet.

Enter, dear music! Rapid jazz,
the quintet sparkled behind Coltrane.
I saluted his sax with Southern Comfort,
then shook hands with Kurt Cobain.

Cuffs pressed, shoes buffed to a shine,
while sitting cocky there came a lady.
A succubus, a curse, a sexy set of fangs
I heard earlier she’d emptied Bukowski.

Her long fingers, possessing gray eyes,
this Lilith was lithe and sultry.
She stole my attention with rum-laden kisses,
and used my vanity against me.

Oh, her charm and articulate wit,
she wound a chain ’round my wrist.
Lights blew out, perished into night,
and a gloom crept over our tryst.

She sauntered off, a cheap jukebox kicked on,
and all jokes sounded sour.
I realized the bottle now drank me,
as apathy began to flower.

This is all wrong. Where are my friends?
Why is it so hard to stand?
Then she came back, eased me flat,
and gently held my hand.

To Hell with Hell! Good riddance God!
The barmaid quoted Baudelaire.
She lain by my side and whispered, I lied,
while I wept into her hair.


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