Tuesday, April 03, 2007


it's a tuesday night. i get home from work around 9:00 p.m., change my clothes and set out for a cheeseburger and a beer. i take the train three stops to harvard square. i enter the bar and exchange coquettish pleasantries with the bartender i know all too well. i order the cheeseburger and beer. i open the page of the book where the folded poem is marking the place. i begin reading.

"why are you reading in here?" asks the human to the left of me, who was armed with a camera, making howling noises at every female who walked by.

"he came in here for a bite to eat," says his buddy of the tucked in t-shirt, crew-cut, ivy-league, self-aggrandazing manner. (you know the type: a real asshole.)

"i came in here for a bite to eat." i say.

"i'm brandon." says the buddy.

("is this some sort of good cop/bad cop routine?" i wonder.)

"pleasure. i'm bert moth." i say.

"do you go to school here?" buddy asks.

"no." i say.

"what do you do?" he asks.

"i'm a lawyer." i respond.

"oh, do you like it?"

"it's a fucking ball." i say.

he laughs. "so you could get me out of trouble if i needed it?"

"if by trouble, you mean debt restructuring, sure."

the cheeseburger is served. i take a big swig of the budweiser. buddy hands me his card and begins talking about oracle compatible open-source databases. i stick my fork into a french fry, which is acting as a wonderful surrogate for picking up my stool and smashing these two in the sternum.

"do you know what these databases do?" he asks.

"i don't know, dude... a bunch of servers employing jit inventory controls?"

he smiles. i bite the cheeseburger. his friend makes a cat call at two girls walking by.

"shot of jameson?" the bartender asks.

"god, yes." i say.

buddy begins prattling on about databases. i finish my cheeseburger. his friend is taking pictures of girls and talking wildly to two bird flu scientists sitting next to him.

i take the shot and feel the warmth rise in my stomach. i order one more beer and try to read. the friend with the camera says, "we're going to be featured in "dig." we're going bigtime!"

"oh, good luck." i say.

"well... it's not guaranteed...yet," the other one says. "but they're interested in us."

i want to put the beer in the mainline vein. i tilt it full up, then say goodbye to the bartender.

"call me." says the buddy.

"you bet." i say.

i leave the bar and the wind is rising up and howling viciously. while walking to the train, my poem flies out of my book. i see it whipping in the wind and heading toward the building across the street. i board the train, and i imagine my poem flying through the air and landing flush against the window of the tea shop. i imagine it surprising some students as they discuss african health policy. and maybe they read it.

"i think of you in april and your hands upturned coyly in the rain."

and maybe we're all smiling, as i look into the posted mirror on the side of the tracks. and i watch everyone diminish and vanish around the curve of the road we can't help traveling together.


Blogger Inkblot said...

you're not alone and that doesn't feel so bad :)

you're alone and if you leave the poetry behind

12:11 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

african health policy jive is flat laaarm. i mean, who TALKS like that?

"and maybe we're all smiling." mmmm...just the possibility is aural. reminds me (dare i say it) of that jewel song with the lyric, "if i could tell the world just one thing, it's that we're all okay." (i think it's called "hands," in fact, and jewel thinks she's some coy coquette herself, damn snaggle-tooth and all.) i found it stunning, at 16. and your little line stuns me today, post a 4:45am phone call, graduating despair into demand into hope like a smear from the black-grey sky to the first peek of grey-white dawn.

6:57 AM  
Blogger bert moth said...

inky - i'm alone. i'm not alone. everyone leaves something behind, and that makes them a part of a whole; a fragment broken off.

d - who talks like that? ha! only the brightest stars still shining in the wee morning hours, i suspect.

you dare. i like hearing stories of the lil' tyke version of you. and up early, were ya?

it would be a coupe (that's french, by the way)if you used that drawing by chae-myong as your avatar. it's seismic.

11:33 AM  
Blogger ozymandiaz said...

I knew there was something special about you. Fellow Jameson man, heh? Had two shots and a Bourbon Street Chocholate Torte last night.
I dropped a poem in a similar fasion once. It was downtown and the wind was blowing. The poem flew from my pocket and whipped about in the courtyard. A bum picked it up and thrust it into my face...
"Hey buddy. Ya mind not throwin your trash here? This is where I live!"
Ah, a true critic...

6:38 AM  
Blogger GeL (Emerald Eyes) said...

Loved this post and the slice(s) of life. ;)

Although I rarely drink anything alcoholic, I like the chat on a barstool, if it's not obnoxious catcalls, etc. Usually a cafe is a better place for me, or no writing will be accomplished. Men (or women) can be one-track minded vultures...

There's many a poem I've written in unlikely places with far less background interest. It doesn't seem like your heart is in lawyering.

4:49 AM  
Blogger Echo said...

Ha ha, a lawyer and a poet. We didn't all wallow in the arts and sciences muddy road.

But really, as this post proves, a writer in the end.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

i have just noticed your reply.
fitting, as nearly a week hence, i in fact WAS up supersleepilycreepilyearly this mornin'...oh but, wait, me thinks i was actually dreaming... huh. or maybe 'twas just LIKE a dream: pasts and futures set in pastel frames; flashbacks of laughter to keep me going all day.

...seems the prophet got his game back.

10:27 PM  
Blogger bert moth said...

ozy - hahaha. everybody truly is a critic.

bourbon street chocolate tort. it took me a while to figure out why i'd never heard of that drink. heh.

gel - i'm on an extended vacay from the stool scene, myself. oh, but you should've seen those two. obnoxious wouldn't do them justice, hence my pert replies. 'twas interesting, though.

echo - no, no, my drifting was only slightly different. but in the end... we shall see.

d - i can't believe it's been a week hence; i'm due a post. those flashbacks of laughter were derived from my sparkling quick wit, no doubt. i love that you set them in pastel frames.

and just who is this prophet? do tell. the same one who picked winthrop in the final 4?

11:42 PM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

you realise that now you have told the world that
1. you are a legal eagle
2. you do 'debt restructoring'

you now have three times as many 'friends'

7:19 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

how's laziness treating you?

can it be I'M the more proficient blogger?

get to work. hitler left his crowds on fewer pins and needles...

12:09 PM  
Blogger bert moth said...

cj - ah, 'twasn't much of a secret. but three times as many "friends?" eeek. thankfully, i'm not accepting applications.

d - you're only more proficient because you're a HUGE nerd. huge. heheh. but a stunning one.

1:14 PM  
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