I’m asking you now in my calmest voice, my voice of patience and maintenance and strength, to rise slowly from your seats and turn to face the nearest aisle. The person in front of you is moving deliberately and efficiently. Put your trust in that person’s control of his or her impulses to rush or push or trample the persons between him or her and the ultimate goal of the exit just as you exercise your power over your own impulses to act in the same way.
Listen to the tone of calm in my voice. Do not worry. Relax the muscles in your shoulders. Lift your feet one at a time, move each a few inches forward and put it back down with plenty of clearance for the shoes and feet of the person in front of you who is proceeding in the same measured way out of the row of seats to the aisle and on toward the ultimate goal of the exit.
-Jesse Minkert, Paper Nautilus
I am practicing exercises in futility.
I call it hope.
At the bottom of this beer,
drunk becomes Enlightenment.
It will this time.
The stool will stop quivering
rippling tsunamis to my thighs.
The ice cubes invited themselves
to this party, but they can’t tell
a good lie. They look like a priest
I once knew.
The corners of the bar look like God
right angle perfection. My fingers,
bell curve or parabola
depending on the glass. Mismatched.
There is an infinite qualitative difference
between the desire to sit on a bar stool
and the feeling of your ass two hours later.
I am as lucid as the waitress’s open pockets.
I have exact change. I know grace
when it catches me by the throat
and refuses to kill me. This is why
I come to the bar. Alone.
I have all the fear and trembling
and drowning has never been
so difficult. The floor, the only
leap of faith I cannot make.
I found God in apron pockets. Not hers.
Never looked, just felt. Just fought the urge
to hide behind the potted palm
beside the ladies’ room all night,
sipping the glass half-full
tucked between the corner
and the plant.
-Hilary Kobernick, Paper Nautilus