Without getting up from his place at the door,
The man checks I.D.s with a static approval.
After embracing the warm entrance,
The smell of cigarettes and alcohol violates the nasal.
Moving with soft spoken “excuse me” and “sorry” tensions,
Past bodies camouflaged by the gentle lighted expressions.
The ceiling is decorated with reds, oranges, greens, and blues,
Hues that awaken a feeling of duplication.
They are strangers that all look the same,
Like piles of repetition -doppelgangers sympathizing each other.
Faces bearing evident exhaustion,
Yet a sense of pleasure in the social precautions.
Beside stomping worn shoes and winter boots,
The ground is un-swept and the furniture un-organized.
Signed bills and posters litter on the ceiling out of reach,
This place adorns its unique name with pride.
Character flows to, from, and within these walls,
Inspired by the deep notes of the performer.
The keyboard player who looks up periodically lending a stare,
Shadows veil any sense of aesthetic physical qualities.
Leaving only his music exposed for appreciation, as it may be.
Distractedly, the doorman announces his stuffed nose,
Perhaps from cold that breaks into this basement.
Perhaps from the insistent exposure to the wafting chill,
Of the patrons bidding endless salutations.
It breaks the momentary spell with realization,
That this vice does not grant immortal existence.
Still there is this perception of eternity,
In the glossy eyes that form the audience.
Welcome the next singer,
Who comes in company of her own guitar,
And brings out the emotional melody of a virtuous muse.
A chuckle from across the room –the obliged pitch of flirtation.
The crash of a glass to the floor –the fumble of expectation.
Unfamiliar voices in and out –they swell and smooth,
Like crashing waves at the tail of a drunken hurricane,
Colliding harshly into the bouldering, stoic behavior of sobriety.
In this land of dreamers,
Nothing truly matters.
Except the building rhythm…
The search for sparked attraction…
And the laughter that carries the heart.
In the swarm induced by the spirit of tonic,
Voices and souls uniting in earnest connection,
Forming the most peaceful, jolly grin.
Brings the joy from the outside, to within.
For this post, I decided to feature my favorite poem, The Marlin 2017, which is about a dive bar in Fairbanks called the Marlin -an establishment featuring Christmas lights for ambiance, single bills decorating the walls and ceiling, rustic and engraved furniture and bar top, and small entrance as it lays in a basement. Every Wednesday night, about 11pm I would be there enjoying Open Mic Night. I would always sit up close to the band and the presentation, I was always there for the music. There would always be lots of interesting and unique artists, so I would stay there into the early morning hours just to see them all even if that meant the next day was a painful drag. It was worth it, time and time again, because there was something magical about those moments there. It is difficult explaining… like a wistful sorrow, some melodic combination of joy and sadness experienced at the same time; sitting there enjoying a drink, watching the crowd become hypnotized or dance to the songs, hearing the long-drawn notes of one of the musicians -sharing their expression of emotion while feeling this subtle sense of joy… It was something indescribable enough that I feel like the poem itself doesn’t do it justice. I miss those days, as since then I have tried to go back and unfortunately the crowd and variety of artists isn’t the same. Perhaps it was one of those things you only get to experience for a certain time… Regardless, it has a fond place in my heart.