Friday, April 1, 2016

Poetry Month Drinks with Reads

April is Poetry Month and we're celebrating at Mystery Playground. To start off,  we have with two fabulous poets who write about crime here today, Bill Baber and Johnny Longfellow, and they are matching their poems with the perfect drink. I discovered both poets over on Gerald So's wonderful blog, the Five-Two. The Five-Two features crime poetry every single week throughout the year and Gerald was gracious enough to lend me some of his poets this month. 

First off we have Bill Baber with "Fifty-Seven Lousy Bucks."


got me eight miserable years
in this crummy joint.
Fifty-seven bucks
that I never got to spend
and if I could have, on what?
A girl?
A bet on some horse?
Eight wasted years
and for what?
When they let me out
I ain't coming back
But then
that's what I said

the last time.

Here's Bill's drink match to "Fifty-Seven Lousy Drinks":

"The narrator of this poem is a beer and a shot guy. He doesn't frequent establishments that serve craft cocktails with house-infused lavender essence vodka. Nor does he drink micro beer. he does his drinking in dark dives where a crusty barmaid pours a stiff shot of Beam or Early Times and cracks a long-necked Bud as easily as she cracks her knuckles. There is a jukebox that only plays honky-tonk with songs about desperate men doing desperate things. And as unsavory as he is, always tips."

BILL BABER has had over two dozen crime stories published and his stories have recently appeared in Rogue from Near to the Knuckle, Hardboiled Crime Scene from Dead Guns Press and Locked & Loaded from One Eye Press. He has also had a number of poems published online – one of which is being considered for a Best of the Net Award- and in the occasional literary journal. A book of his poetry, Where the Wind Comes to Play was published by Berberis Press in 2011. He lives in Tucson with his wife and a spoiled dog and has been known to cross the border for a cold beer. He is working on his first novel.

And now we have Johnny Longfellow matching his poem, True Romance, with a drink called "God Bless 'Merica." Here is Johnny reading his poem:


Handed down the line by granny
Came this tale she tol' to me,
'Bout a romance that got kindled
Back in '33.

Said, it started with a promise,
Then it ended with a kiss,
While the good stuff in the middle
Happ'ned jus' like this...

Harley Wheeler parked 'is Roadster
Up on ‘top o’ Lover’s Ledge,
Where the rollin’ fog 'n' moonlight
Mingled 'long the edge.

There, he got to breathin' heavy
Back inside ‘is rumble seat,
While he sniffed at Nelly's neckline
Smellin' oh so sweet.

Well, that is, until a stranger
Came a-creepin' in the dark
Up behind that starlit Plymouth,
Sittin' there in park.

Root-a-toot! he shot po' Harley...
Root-a-toot! he shot po' Nell’...
Then he rolled 'em both in neutral
Straight below to Hell.

Come the mornin' came the coroner,
Had 'imself a look aroun'
At that wreckage—like Gomorrah—
Smold'rin' on the groun'.

Now, he knew ol' lustful Harley,
Plus ol' Nell' in all 'er pride,
So he judged it—like 'is Lawd would—
Double suicide.

Nearer ev'nin' came the sheriff
Bearin' news at Harley's place,
Feelin' mighty 'fraid to gaze in
Widow Wheeler's face.

Well, that is, until her fingers
Tightly latched the farmhouse door,
While she turned 'er head, an' whispered,
“Here's jus' like I swore.”

Ooo, it started with a promise,
Then it ended with a kiss,
While the good stuff in the middle
Happ’ned jus' like this!

'Least that's how my granny'd tell it,
Though 'er mem'ry makes me think
How she’d always tweak that endin',
Givin’ folks a wink.

Here's Johnny's drink match to "True Romance":

"Here’s a quaint li’l drink recipe my granny taught me, to be pared with my poem, “True Romance.” The name o' this concoction is "God Bless 'Merica." It’s the perfect elixer fer inspirin’ other poets to spin their own yarns ‘n’ ballads. Great thing about it is, all ya’ need is this here:  
  • 10 gallon bucket o’ horse feed
  • Bag o’ yeast
  • 10 pounds o’ sugar
  • Water, & . . .
  • A spade

"Throw some warm water in that there bucket o’ feed, and use that spade to mix it all around with the yeast an’ the sugar. Next, toss a loose lid on top o’ all that slop, and wait like 5 days ‘til ya’ see a bunch o’ flies buzzin’ aroun’. Then . . . cook it up in yer still. When it's done, that there that’ll git ya’ hammered! I mean, we’re talkin’ 190 proof, “Thunder Road” with Robert Mitchum, dualin’ banjos, monster truck, fallen off the roof o’ yo’ singlewide kind o’ hammered! Yee haw!"

Johnny Longfellow

JOHNNY LONGFELLOW has served for nearly two decades as a mentor to Newburyport, MA high school students through the Poetry Soup reading program and print journal. His poetry has been previously featured at The Five-Two, and can also be found at other online venues such as The Barefoot MusePpigpenn, and The Rotary Dial.

You can follow The Five-Two on Twitter @PoemsonCrime The site also sells their anthologies of crime poetry. 

We'll have more fabulous crime poetry tomorrow. 

No comments:

Post a Comment