Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Friday, October 11, 2013

October 11: Last call . . .

Down the bar,
someone's playing
piano, thunky-plunk picking
out a tune that makes
no sense a-tall,
midnight blues,
and me stirring
smokey Joe,
I told her I don't
drink and watched her eyes
flick past me.
Maybe someone else
will slide on that bar stool
next to me.
Middle C says not.
My lips remember
the saxophone of my youth,
pucker sweet.
Last call.

I honestly don't know where this one came from. I hate bars. I grew up in bars, waiting for my mother, watching the round clock on the wall. When I was a teen, I danced to Fats Domino and fell in love with stride piano and the sax.

Today's OctPoWriMo poetry prompt asks us to use sound in our poem. So here's "Blue Monday" featuring the one and only Fats and a little sax solo by Herb Hardesty. Not quite like my poem but, oh my, that's piano and sax.

Read what others have written for OctPoWriMo here.


  1. "...and watched her eyes flick past me." I love that line! And how your poem evokes the atmosphere of a bar late in the evening.

    1. Thank you, Christine. There's hope and despair in that line.

  2. Anonymous8:33 PM

    "my lips remember the saxophone of my youth" so evocative! makes me hope you'll pick it up again and see what happens!

    1. Sorry, Quinn. I've never played the saxophone but just love the sound. I even assumed a male persona for this story . . . but I appreciate your dropping by, and reading, and commenting! Thank you.

  3. Loved your poem, Beth. The same line struck me as quinn:
    "My lips remember
    the saxophone of my youth,
    pucker sweet"

    And, the video brought back many memories. My mom took me and a girlfriend to see a Rock & Roll show, and Fats Domino was one of the acts. We were crazed over this piano-playin' man. Thank you. xoA

    1. Thank you, Annis, for liking my 'barfly' poem. I first saw Fats Domino in a high school gym. I was 14 and danced just 2-3 feet away from where he pounded the piano. I fell in love with stride piano right then and there. Yes, so many good memories.

  4. I know the feeling of a server dismissing you when you aren't drinking. Wonderful imagery.