writing in bars

at the bar you will often find me
reading, or writing
my nose in a book
talking to no one but the staff

I may get approached by strangers
happy about-the-towners who want to know:
“Why are you reading in a bar on Saturday night?”
why?

because it keeps me straight
because I fear that without my work
or the work of another in which to delve
I will be nothing more than another drunk

another patron, another mindless partier
trying to impress, entertain, flatter or score
just another person – a member of the crowd
which has always been my greatest fear

reading and writing keeps me connected
keeps me in touch with
that which sets me apart
that which I cannot lose

if nothing else writing distracts me
fools me into believing I am separate
above and beyond common concern
and reality, and this oh so silly game

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