A miniature crown of sonnets. From 2012 or '13. Revised a bit just now.
The Stopped Clock
Newcastles at the Stopped Clock, Kelly Square,
or Stella Artois if the Newc's all out:
December's cold snap and midsummer's drought
get handled the same way: with beer and beer.
The winner of the gold for Best Barkeep:
unquestionably, Amanda C. from Winthrop
who drives to work each day through busy traffic
and uses language beautifully graphic!
Conversation rarely if ever lags
with this adept mixologist, young and brash.
She'll make you a paint-peeler, if you want it.
In walks yours truly with his packed book-bags
as the jukebox plays Patsy or the Clash
or “More than a Feeling,” life's sharp edges blunted.
More than a feeling. Life's sharp edges blunted,
senses dulled by music and ale. Not bad.
Amanda has deliberately miscounted
the number of beers this rumpled oaf has had.
ESPN's on the big flat-screen, mute.
Elton sings “Rocket Man,” Bowie “Let's Dance.”
Three pints (“another?”) bring some semblance
of peace in the din, of happiness absolute.
“What are your weekend plans?” she asks. “Don't know,”
is my oft-used and sadly true reply.
Chinese food Saturday, the next day church?
I shall be telling this tale with a sigh
twenty-five years from now on my front porch:
“The Stopped Clock was my only place to go.”
The Stopped Clock is the only place to go
after confessing sins to Fr Pete,
during an arctic blast or stifling heat,
before a showing of Hitchcock’s Vertigo.
Old cellar pub, a den of high repute
where politicians and ironworkers gather
to rest awhile from wrangle and dispute,
to seek refuge from not-so-clement weather.
And you can get a decent lunch down there
for fourteen, fifteen bucks (plus drinks, plus tax):
chicken or fish, steak skewers, burgers, fries ....
Amanda listens to everybody’s lies
and smiles or laughs, and they keep coming back
for Newcastles at the Stopped Clock, Kelly Square.
Poetry by Thomas DeFreitas
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Written on 2018-05-26 at 09:07
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