The 12 beers of Christmas


My first beer of the Christmas season

I knew in the candlelight against the stained oak countertops that I should be out smoking a cigarette under the sandpaper night instead of sitting there in my sh-tty jacket wishing I could order the 8 dollar grilled cheese.


I don’t like Yuengling because it makes me think of a–holes in polo shirts listening to jam bands but it was the only beer on special in a bar that seemed right in the middle of freedom with nobody paying attention to anything but that.


“It’s Christmas motherf-cker!” he yelled when I was in mid grocery store slug. “Forget your brown paper bag!” I didn’t listen though because I knew I needed it and I liked how the creases were uglier than the ones cracking under my eyes. “Eat a brownie with your pumpkin pie you fat old miscreant! “Will you just shut up now, I thought I saw a cop by the frozen pizzas.””Let em shoot coal!” he screamed, and the Shopway Christmas carols played above us like the slow drops of an icicle drooling on the brown brittle Christmas tree I saw last June when I dropped a bag full of dog sh-t in the dumpster


I crammed into the Victorian country Christmas boutique with the rest of the junk and they charged me a dollar at the door. I guess they were making ornaments out of dollar bills and unknowing jerks like me. One lady who looked like the ghost of Christmas class asked me to get rid of my drink. I said it’s empty like my wallet and you better find my wife she didn’t pay her entrance fee. Then some pansy with a glue gun escorted me out the door where I sat in our car like a piece of reindeer crap.

They had a sign that said this-

“Your husband called and he said you can buy anything you want!”

It really said…

“You can’t think for yourself and your husband’s a cheap b-stard!”


I hate the dollar bill when it looks like a green snake sticking out of a hole with your ugly fingers in it. But that’s what I dropped in the men’s room toilet at Funkenheimers when it was free pool night and it seemed like the whole bar and grill was banging on the door with their 3 dollar Budweisers to get in. Hold on I yelled I gotta get this out and somebody said try laxatives.


I lay in her Egyptian sheets like the purple ruby of night on falling rectangles of gold. She said, You must be tired, your eyes are long and hidden, like you must’ve known the dark and the colors you couldn’t find in the mirror. Here, let me oil your feet, the white moon is high in the sky and melting along the cream cut cobblestone winding around my saraaya. And I drank another sip of my Sakaraand, wondered if her toes were honey and if my eyes could ever stop looking…. And I looked at the gold chime in her grandfather clock and saw the poor bowls of her people carrying what little they had in hieroglyphic destitution across deserts that only fell as sand in my dreams. And I knew I couldn’t get any farther away from the plastic nativity camels falling over in my neighbors backyard snow and dog crap piles than right now with her, somewhere between baby Moses’ wicker basket and Cleopatra’s open legs. Here, where priceless Egyptian treasures were not lost but hidden up a winding wooden staircase in a one room apartment downtown where my Christmas finally began.


She wore a checkerboard shirt and all the men were trying to be kinged. He put his d-ck out on the table but spoke like his pants were still zipped up. I bought a sh-tty beer and admired her black and blonde hair. From an Amazon rain forest or I liked her hands putting down her ivory phone, they were made of marble and she put her fork in her salad like she had somewhere to go. I ate a pepperridge farm bag of litter I found scraping the cement outside then finished a conversation I’d started with somebody else a half a decade ago and decided to hang out in that night again for awhile. The women back then had red lipstick that was as thick as their aquanet hair. I drank an ocean and nobody fished me out but the cop who gave me a ride home after hours of wandering lost down streets I’d been down a million times, where every house on the block was the same one I just walked by. Somewhere in the mud I went even farther back into my past to a game of neighborhood football I once played. By the time I pulled into my dad’s driveway again I wanted to do something different than what had actually happened that night so I looked at the moon that hung like a bell and rang it.


“Last Christmas I gave you my fart and the very next day you gave one away….

“Everybody hates each other at Christmas. Especially me and the ex dungeon and dragons guy at the Acme that thinks it’s a neighborhood grocery store from 1954. He projects himself like a security guard who knows where the rite guard is but he doesn’t, he’s just a fat guy trying to pretend like he doesn’t hate his job. I think he hates me cause I talk to the the checkout girl with the dopey cheeks and he’s been trying to sleep with her since spring. But really I’d drink a beer with everybody right now and bury the Crachit, even him, I mean it’s Christmas for God’s sake.


I cut
the plastic
around the 6 pack
so that it wouldn’t
choke anything
but me


I’ve been sitting in my chair with a cigarette and glass ashtray watching Christmas movies, like my dad 1982 and where the hell does that leave me but stuck in a Pepperidge Farm sausage and a black friday mall pothead shop selling overpriced tee-shirts of the same old photos of rockstars overhearing ten million f-bombs from whatever you’re watching in the other room


the 12th beer of Christmas hit like a russian nutcracker or a white russian vodka. I was on my knees in a little bustop with the snow outside falling, white magic in the blue midnight. Some blonde had said she had left her white and teal winter hat on the kitchen table and I almost was beautiful. I saw a picture of our old tan couch and those years as gone as they are, all came came back in my tears.

Most of my life is already gone and I’m saying goodbye to what I have left. Goodbye beer at the gas station in a brown bag peace and cigarette moon flicks of serenity. Goodbye Stroheman trucks.

Goodbye Christmas.

Paper shredder fear
Shredded paper skin
It used to just be outside now if I dont pray I can even walk down the street.
I dont think the street should have this much teeth.
I like it easy though because I got a lifetime to make up for.
I sure didnt thank you enough God at least you caught me now before my eyes stayed stone.
I’m not Johnny Cash I dont wanna be.
I wish I could mix my own lives into my deep purple veins.
God can get me through anything.

Looking for bad so you can say you have no argument with me. 1 accuser and one looking to accuse. Zero grace. James Dean horse radish head. No!!!! destruction! Suicides for the birth of hope! Confusion—go to hell! Ornaments of defecation.Cheese tray! I remember my uncles cheese tray. Hell candy canes burning. We all killed god! wretched.A mother. Sterotyping to survive. A couple of coughs, I’m some cough drop sucking. Girls don’t even look. Putrid phone Christmas! I wish Darnel was here and I never even knew him! Horror mornings.Attitude. Keeping people from being good. Antichrist bubbles out my eye. Give me a smoke. I’ll quit. No I wont it’s a horrible man with such a mouth in his thoughts to curse children. So many sins! When will I have joy! I dont work! I lay around and rip into my ripits and jagermeister. Orange and red lights from the white truck onto the blacktop at dusk. At least I told the workers they did a good job paving! I must be redeemed. I feel good. God make it last..I have our old carpet in a roll in the closet to weep at praying.

Her jacket matched her beige purse which was frayed like the stubble on the side of her head. I saw a thousand Christmas’ that mean nothing now. I should clean this mess. I should write my aunt a thousand thank you cards even though I don’t know her address.Gratitudeless. Pit of Christmas hell. Hang me be the fireplace with care. Christmas eve service. A bum’s only home and that’s only when its cold enough. I am going to fall the messiah down and pee down the gutter because they don’t let you use the bathrooms here though there’s 10,000 drinks and some of them eggnog and I thought I was the only hypocrite here do you see how the only place this leads is to our knees and I don’t mean the cooler for another 12 pack.

Portions of this poem first appeared in PoetryCircle