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11.6: Whiskey Wednesday

Technically, Whiskey Wednesday was 1 week ago, as celebrated by The Hairpin post that supplied today’s Roofpig content. But, time is a fluid construct and art belongs to us all and life is what you make it and thus the following wholesale large-scale no-fail ripoff of the The Hairpin’s stellar idea: poems mentioning whiskey.

In Which Christina Imagines that Different Types of Alcohol Are Men and She Is Seeing Them All (Christina Olson)

Gin was nice enough but had tiny teeth: little ships
of white. Whiskey showed up an hour late,
took me and my one good dress
to a crab shack. We cracked boiled crawfish, swept
our fingers over the tablecloth, left butter behind.
I hid in the back of the coffee shop—crouched
behind whole beans—and scoped out Rum, then left
without introducing myself. Maybe it’s cruel of me

but I just wasn’t feeling exotic. Bourbon
and I had fun, but it was all cigarettes

and ex-wives. Tequila was ever the gentleman, blond
and smooth as caramel. Bought all my rounds
and when I came back from the bathroom he,

my wallet, my car: all gone. The bartender didn’t look
sorry. My mother set me up with Brandy

and I should have known that he’d be the type
to own small dogs. I don’t like poodles.
I saw Gin again last night; both of us out

with other people. His: a redhead. I waved anyway,
and when he smiled, all sharp points

and blooded gums, well, that was when I fell in love.


Fairytale (Keetje Kuipers)

Sometimes, when they disappear,
men take a jelly jar of whiskey
with them, and in late summer,
when the river shrinks back
from its skin like a child ashamed
of undressing, the jars surface,
full of sand and crumpled snail shell,
in its seams. The daughters collect them,
and we fill each one—with milk, silver
buttons, crimson leaves losing color—
though never with whiskey. We’re
not trying to bring the fathers back.


from Apologia (Jill Alexander Essbaum)

Darkness, I have done dread deeds in,
Hearkening to apocalyptic heathen,
Even as I cocked my lips to yours. And I have slept
On floors. And I have crept along on all fours.
And. More. I have lived briskly in nice houses.
I have swigged whiskey in icehouses.

I have been June, July, and August.
I have been riotous when I felt like I must
Or I could be. And I’ve hung on your tree like a ripe fig
Desiring to be plucked. And I’ve flung my body to your bed
Like a white bride pining to be rubbed up against.
Like a suckling child hungry in a viper’s den.


from Elegy with a Glass of Whiskey (Crystal Bacon)

When you died, your death was like ice in a glass
of scotch. It melted clear against the tawny
color of the light. It spread and spread like rain

traveling for days across the continent. It left its footprint,
Orion’s peg leg pocking the face of different places:
California, Virginia, North Carolina, Nova Scotia

and everywhere anyone had known you. I did not
know you. You were a night sky, you were winter
in its shabby coat. You were a hinge on a frozen door

open now, easy now. There is a light on inside the house.
I’ll go in and live in the yellow warmth. I’ll pour a drink;
the words will wait, are waiting, to be born.

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