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Self-serving plans, rewarded

An uneven rhythm

You can always tell a drinker
By the way they tackle the glass
No subtle sips
Only a life affirming gulp
As though they’re just been saved
Just as a light falling rain
Is devoured by plant life
Yet is wasted on concrete
Just as a half left glass
Is a crime
A simple scan around a restaurant
Reveals the ten percent.

I knew what she was
As I had been one (ever to be)
And was more aware of the signs now
Than when I’d been amongst it.

So we played the game awhile
I tested her, without letting on
And she danced
The dance
And while I knew all the moves
I forgave her
Those gracious faults.

As that’s all I had wanted
Without the lectures
From those who stand on columns
Gazing down
Eliciting acidic ventures
In return.

So I encouraged her to get drunk
Though it took only two short sentences
Giving her sweet freedom
And allowed her into my home
And soon,
Only because I knew
What she needed.

Had she not been
A drinker
The dinner would have
Ended with coffee
I allowed her
To take advantage of me
As it was affirmation
That she required
Made more powerful through booze
Though others
Did not see it this way
Or any other way
A charge
Difficult to shake
Impossible to undo
Though ultimately

Participants with other issues
And agendas
Came into play
Good deeds are lamented
And self-serving plans, rewarded
And I learnt                                                                     
That the game (or dance) is too fast
And complex
For any of us to comprehend
Let alone control.

By the time
The trial began
I barely knew a thing.

More Poetry.

The Drunkard's Progress - by Nathaniel Currier (1846)


  1. I had a drinking problem for a while, I suppose many people do, but I found ways, situations, that would make me go without booze for months on end, virtually give up. But I am glad I am not around any enablers. So I identified with much of your poem. But not the date rape part. Interesting take on the thoughts of someone who has taken advantage of a drunk woman. Some great lines in there too.

  2. Very good one Anthony! Yep, that is a dance that goes on in bars and pubs everywhere. Always has and always will.

  3. This is intense, sexy, thought-provoking, complex - everything that comprises an addiction. You captured it all.


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