Poetry Drawer: Monument: The Broken Bar by Jonathan Butcher


A strange glance from my right,
the benches that frame this monument
leak bodies sat upright, static in this heat.
Their brows are reflective, but without thought,
as magpies rattle and dance in trees too thin
to cast shadows.

This stone pillar, a crude reminder
of those ravaged by a lack of cohesion;
just another product of a time which refused
its clocks to stop, if only so it could recoup
and strengthen its path, to open its eyes

The faces carved into inappropriate
places fail to resonate as intended;
the grass hill like a dandelion
sprouted on a derelict pavement.
A hundred bodies lay under its foundations,
unaware of the lack of progress that turn
their graves to mere memories.

Late summer heat allows us this lazy
observation, to avoid absorption
of the remnants of this landmark.
We move drunkenly back towards
the city, as the last passing dog
of the evening slavers upon its steps.

The Broken Bar

Shattered glass frames the feet
of aging yuppies shuffling in Birkenstocks,
the walls absorb the clink of ice cubes in glasses and hands.
A barrage of bad politics masquerading
as “opinions” rides over any conversation
that would otherwise heighten this more than lowered tone.

The tiny speakers that spew forth this music
never threaten to fall, and hang like badly
carved gargoyles, they remain as blank as these faces,
that attempt pensive expressions but only manage
to execute bovine grins, that answer each question
with the same depletion of substance.

Their reputations as stale as the two-for-one
drinks that fuel their afternoon; broken laptops
and cufflinks pile high in their thousands
as the final bell tolls in this shattered bar,
as they take the last sip of their grime filled nectar,
they finally retreat, if only to replenish their funds.

Jonathan Butcher has had poetry appear in various publications including 
The Morning Star, Mad Swirl, The Rye Whiskey Review, Picaroon Poetry, Sick Lit, Cajun Mutt Press and others. His fourth chapbook ‘Turpentine’ was published by Alien Buddha Press. He is also the editor of the online poetry journal Fixator Press

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