Friday, September 17, 2010

Last Call

Closing in on closing time
The DJ plays matchmaker.
The ballad thins the crowd.

Bleary eyed from much too much
drinkers that danced
and dancers that drank
come together

Long gone are the one-night stands,
their feverish, furious gropings
in the back corners have become
intolerable journeys to one bed or another

Sneaking out the sides are the energy kids,
those brightly dressed retro-glam parakeets
strung out on taurine and vodka.
This music is so slow it hurts their ears

With them go the slam dancers,
Their brazen, impotent playfighting concluded.
Politics they don't understand set to rhythms they do
Will echo in their dreams

Now is not the hour for the painfully shy.
They are home, making love with diversion in their single beds.
Pages turn, televisions flicker, and the internet gives birth
to another social media superstar

The ballad plays on, and
Next to no one is left,
but next to isn't no one

Couples coalesce at the edges of the dance floor
Just outside the remaining light

With mingled desire and resignation
Exhausted arms drape across sweat-damp shoulders.
Clammy hands encircle untucked waists
No one is really sure who is propping up who.

Swaying together,

Side to side


Side to side

Creativity is gone.
It's out on the sidewalk with their other plans.

This is not who they saw themselves with
When the night began.

The ballad hits its coda.
Fumbling, desperate, awkward kisses begin,
promising nothing beyond the moment

DJ, please play another song.

And leave the lights off.


  1. Nothing good happens in the light...wait, I mean nothing 'bad' happens.
    This piece actually made me feel good to be 'older'. No awkward kissing - phew!

    PS - I nominated you for an award-sorry. At least read my funny post!

  2. Thanks for the comment Erin - and the award!

    I received a similar one about 6 months ago - but wasn't able to do anything with it - because everyone I knew had already received it (Sorry Lee!) This time .. look out world. I'll try to come up with 7 things this weekend.

  3. Great poem Chris. Feels like yesterday.

  4. Thanks Lily.

    To loop this back to yesterday, this poem was entirely inspired by a song I was listening to the other day - Long Time Running by the Tragically Hip. (Not that the lyrics have anything to do with this one - but listening to it brought back a lot of memories ... and this poem.)

  5. Brought back some great memories, Chris. Great pice of writing.