Volume 95, Issue 91

Tuesday, March 26, 2002
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Editor's Note

The Lush of Davis Avenue

tango down the street

Guilty Pleasures


The New Prostitution


The Accident



The Photos Don't Say

Haiku #4

The Mountain

The Dream of Spring

For Weldon

Dana Taylor's Funeral

See this game?

The Lush of Davis Avenue

When Henry's drunk,
he blends words of kindness
with a friendly tap on the shoulder,
warming you as if he were your brother,
as if "you're wonderful" was said
in thought-out sobriety and with a stride
that staggered neither night or day.

When Henry is stoned on gin,
he looks your spirit straight in the eye
and says that beauty could be defined
as the sparkle you give when you smile
as you bid "farewell before we meet again,"
and it strokes your inner ghost to hear him
speak that way, and when whiskey's
on his breath it makes you none the wiser.

Jack Daniels fares even better,
and calls Henry to a day of holding doors
for windows and their next of kin,
for aiding and abetting where flattened tires
can be found, and for dropping alms
in the Sally Ann on cold winter nights that see
the lost and vagrant flee from
weakened states and the blackened alleys
that enjoin them all.

You wonder why he's grouchy
when he's sober, why he shuns
your children and spotted puppies in the park,
why he squirrels and men with canes
when the beer's misplaced and he hasn't
had a drop in days.

They say Henry broke his back
when he'd been a boy, was fed a diet
of iceless bourbon to deaden the pain,
watched in vain his mother's flight
to leave a brutal husband, said nothing
at the funeral, vowing only in thought
to spurn the devil's ways with his own brew,
a recipe handed down for generations,
the irony of it all escaping the startled gaze
of the men he's blessed with silver coins
bestowed to hungry hats in hand.

–Andreas Gripp

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Copyright The Gazette 2002