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One More: After Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art”

February 8, 2012

(and perhaps addressed to “The Prodigal”)

by Pamela Johnson Parker

The art of boozing isn’t hard to master.
So many drinks seem filled with the intent
To be drunk that drinking, drunk, is no disaster.

Drink something every round. Tell that old bastard
Of a bartender you’ll drink until you’re skint.
The art of boozing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice drinking harder, drinking faster,
Spend happy and happier hours, spend up the rent
To be drunk. Drinking, drunk is no disaster.

You drank your apartment up. And look, your last or
Next to last of folded twenties went
To buy a round. The art of boozing isn’t hard to master.

You’ve lost two days, lovely ones, while plastered
Like pig shit to a wall—your job, the argument
That to a drunk, being drunk is no disaster.

Even now, as you belly up to the bar
Like a sick fish floating—it’s evident
The art of boozing isn’t hard to master.
As you drink doubles—prodigality’s no disaster.

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Pamela Johnson Parker is a medical editor and adjunct professor of creative writing and literature at Murray State University. A Walk Through the Memory Palace was the first selection in the qarrtsiluni chapbook series. Another chapbook, Other Four Letter Words, is available from Finishing Line Press. Pamela’s work is also featured in Best New Poets 2011, edited by D. A. Powell.

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  1. February 8, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    smashing poem, pamela!

  2. February 8, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    So many of these are so FUNNY. Is parody our sincerest form of imitation?

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