Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Time Imbibed



(Image: courtesy Discovery Channel/Discovery.com)
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
The Time-Drunk


"I got out of bed last night to go to the bathroom, and I started walking backwards. Strange things happen when you get old." --Passenger on the Amtrak Cascade train

"Beyond a black hole's gravitational border -- or event horizon -- neither matter nor light can escape." --Discovery.com



He got drunk on time, toxed with sips
of minutes, gulps of years, binges of
decades. Now he staggers down alleys
of memory behind Chronology's moist
row of pubs, saloons, clubs, and dives.

A lifelong drinker of time, he knows
how drunk he is but not where. Surfaces
bump him, rough him up. Gravity trips
him using cobblestones and curbs. He
finds a door he thinks he recognizes,

enters a noise, finds the bar, orders
a wee timetail. The one behind the bar
refuses, judges, speaks the savage,
polite words, "You've already had enough.
I can pour you a coup of coffee, though,

or call you The Cab." He assumes
the false dignity of a confronted
tippler. He mumbles, "The Cab." Waiting,
he negotiates. To the one behind
the bar, he says, "Come on. One more?"


Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
Post a Comment