Barrel Goblin Song

2020-06-09 02.08.26

We’re the barrel boys
We like bourbon joys
We drink till we stink
Don’t think
Swallow and wallow
Come, ye shall follow
To the dregs below
Let it all flow
Till tis all ye know
Whiskey breath
Risk ye death?
For woes, for frets,
Whiskey forgets
Tame or feral
At your peril
Slur a drinking carol
From inside a barrel
Quaff it down
Wash away your frown
(Till ye drown)
Go hobnobbin’
Become a goblin
Soggin’ yer noggin
Who needs a cup
When yer bottom’s up?
Head down in the drink
And no more will ye think
Of better days
Of the future’s haze
Or the present craze
Drink, drink, drink,
Sink, sink, sink,
Dive right on in
Never surface again

True Love

Whenever Earl’s hapless love life
suffered a dry spell,
he found himself a willing wife
in a bourbon cocktail,
and if she ever gave him lip
he would give it in turn,
kissing her cool glass for a sip
to taste true love’s sweet burn.

Earl thought they were a perfect match,
at least for his own taste.
When sad he tossed her down the hatch,
fingers tight on her waist
while he wobbled a wayward dance
that filled him with drunk glee
as he spilled her down his good pants
and fell down, all dizzy.

It was a Mint Julep, his drink,
and some made fun of it,
but he never cared what drunks think—
he never cared a spit.
While other men drank Black Label
and the women drank beer,
Earl drank Mint Juleps, when able,
meanwhile having to hear
people mock him in the tavern
for his “lily liver”
each patron eager at a turn
to sing him downriver.

Their many nights out together
were always rough-and-tumble,
whether in fair or foul weather
he would often stumble,
and often he would come home late
with a black eye in pairs
from when his ice-and-sugar date
had thrown him down some stairs.

Still, no matter how rough and wild
each party and its fight
they were nonetheless reconciled,
sharing a bed at night—
a wet bed at night, all soaked through
as he cuddled her close,
sipping at her minty green dew
for a lullaby dose.

Throughout the years Earl’s love affair
with Mint Juleps was strong;
though he was mocked, he did not care
and drank it all day long.
You see, it was a favorite
of Francine, his late wife,
so he wanted to savor it
now and always in life,
for it reminded him of her,
of the first girl he kissed—
first kiss, first and only lover,
the girl he loved and missed.

Firewater Odyssey

Beware the witch’s hex of corn
that is bane to the Great Spirit—
so dangerous for the Native-born
that they had much cause to fear it.
In rotund bellies of white oak
charred by the cruel kiss of fire
and aged by the neverending spoke
of the seasons, Time’s turning gyre,
the drink doomed them all, by and by,
with its sweet Calypsodic taste—
the firewater spirits fly so high
while Native souls wither and waste.
And how generously it flowed!
Like venom from a spiteful fang
or Lotus nectar from the abode
of the Cyclops, that one-eyed gang
who coveted their fat-flanked sheep
for which hunger ached in each man—
and Natives passed on, as if asleep
beneath both flock and searching hand,
Not all could escape, nor so many
returning to the life they knew,
but were wholly lost, each, when he
drank deep of the forbidden brew.
And what of men driven mad so
to drink that which both drowns and slakes
and leaves parched, a drunken Wendigo
whose walk creates terrible quakes?
Was a cup of Lethe, brimming,
that made shades of the tribes;
their songs forgotten, their minds dimming,
their history gone—all for bribes
which cost them all more than the worth
as the intoxicating pox
of liquor rose in a drowning surf,
like hot blood spilling at peace talks.
All empires have been born of more
than mere bloodshed and death and strife;
to crush a people takes more than war—
kill their culture, their way of life.
Thus, while Odysseus was lost
far from his family and hall,
the Natives paid a heavier cost,
exiled on waves of alcohol.
So whiskey was the siren song
that subsumed the songs of their souls,
calling them to Conquest’s coral throng,
their bones sinking within Time’s shoals.