Monday, March 14, 2016

Gene McCormick- Poem & Art

David’s Balancing Act In A
Cleveland Bar, the 1970s

Three days out of detox makes it
an even more amazing balancing act:
David stands on top of a barstool
shouting at a waitress while tightening
his tie to go back to bank clerking.
He’s dead now, but it was quite
a balancing act.

Not because he was drunk or a drunk
which was obvious to all,
but because he stood on the slippery
red leather bar stool seat shoeless,
in his stocking feet.
No one helped him up, or down.

No one paid attention to what he was
shouting, least of all the waitress.
He was a statuesque marvel,
an unappreciated drunken Adonis
(could he have stood on one leg?)
but he is dead now; one night he simply
drank beyond capacity and died.
He didn’t die from a fall off a
red-leather-covered barstool in
The Grog Shoppe in Cleveland, Ohio,
in the 1970’s.

The waitress is married to a UPS driver
and lives in Erie, Pennsylvania.
They have two children, Kara, 5, and Max, 3.
Kara resembles her father;
Max has no reason to.


  1. Am very familiar with the scenario in stanza three....sometimes it isn't the body that dies. Excellent poem!

  2. Thank you for your continuing support, and to Alice and Camille.