A Guy Walks Into a Bar

July 17th, Houston Texas
A friend and I are getting day drunk
Why not?
A guy walks into the bar
Hounds tooth jacket,
Check
Tweed vest,
Check
Bow-tie,
Check
Handlebar mustache,
Check
Look it’s Sherlock Holmes, I say
The man sits down next to us
Are you English, I ask
I thought it was possible
An English country gentleman
Lost in the dregs of a big American city
He smiles,
Then…
More shots!
Are you a professor, I ask
He smiles again,
An actor perhaps?
He smirks
Is he fucking with me, I wonder
How can a guy walk into a bar
In the middle of summer
In Houston Texas
Dressed like that,
And not expect questions
Is he a quack
An old hipster, who doesn’t quite get it
Is he trying to make a statement
Well, okay
Here’s your chance
I’m asking you
Say something
Don’t you have anything to say?
—silence—
Well then…Fuck You!
Suddenly, the red-headed bartender turns banshee,
Pounds her fists upon the bar,
And in glorious ginger rage howls,
Get Out!
As we stumble out of the bar
Into the agony of the mid-day-sun
I turn to my friend and say—
I’m hungry
I felt like Henry Chinaski

John Kojak is a graduate of The University of Texas and Navy veteran who now lives and writes in the foothills of Northern California. His short stories and poetry have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies including Bête Noire, Pulp Modern, Switchblade, Serial Magazine, EconoClash Review, Blue Room Book’s Stories of Southern Humor and Southern Crime Anthology, Mystery Weekly, Pulp Adventures, HellBound Book’s Road Kill: Texas Horror By Texas Writers Vol 5, Poetry Quarterly, The American Journal of Poetry, and California’s Best Emerging Poets 2019, Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival’s Boundless Anthology 2020, and Pure Slush Publishing’s The Beautifullest Anthology.

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