One Stop Poetry, http://onestoppoetry.com/, gave several iPad drawings by Alison Jardine for the Welcome to Friday Poetically prompt. All the drawing can all be seen at http://onestoppoetry.com/2011/06/one-stop-spotlight-artist-alison-jardine.html. I chose Bottle Out.
It’s difficult to give any type of process notes. I looked at that bottle and started writing. I have NO idea where this came from, didn’t know where it was going and didn’t know how it was going to end. I’m not sure it makes any sense. Probably the strangest thing I ever wrote. I only hope the readers can make out the words.
THE GREEN BOTTLE
by Mike Patrick
Forty years ago, the first time I ever saw him,
old man Burke had it sloppin’ around loose
in the back pocket of his overalls.
Everbody knowed what it was,
he weren’t foolin’ nobody.
Some called it his jug,
some his bottle.
Mystery was, what was in it?
Ain’t polite to go all over tarnation
and never offer nobody a drink.
Course, I never seen him take a snort nuther.
Never saw him drunk—now ain’t that sumpem?
Whenever somebody ask him what were in it,
He’d say it were liniment to make a man a fool.
Hell, everbody knows alcohol makes a man a fool.
Ever summer, I’d come home,
and thar he’d be, with that bottle in his overalls.
Hell, might be the same overalls all them years.
‘Twere August 28, couple weeks ago,
I seen Burke slide outen the barn,
and that bottle plumb slipped out.
It were sittin’ up there inside the hayloft door,
all shining green in the sun.
I sneaked up and grabbed it right quick
and went hide behind the tractor.
It were hot, and I were dry.
Teach that old man to keep good liquor to hisself.
I drained her in four big gulps,
and I ain’t made no fool outen myself yet.
Burke never found out what happened
to his old green bottle,
but he grins big at me, each time we meet.
He ain’t never gonna find out nuther.
I leave for college tomorrow.
Gonna have thirty-eight seniors in my mornin English class this year.
I’ll learn em sumpem . . . I’ll learn em.