Rebellion in a Knit Cap


Original artwork by Bernard S. Barnes


attending the coffee shop gig

it’s hot with humanity and steamed milk
the baby-faced soloist on stage
has a voice that shakes
fingers snap against guitar strings
microphone turned up too loud
I can’t enjoy myself here
too much about this bothers me
from the heat to the people
and that bearded cretin behind the counter
I’d rather be curled up with my woman
and the television shows
and some poems
the world has a tediousness that bores me
all I can do is drink more
and hope it gets better

hipster hell

walk into a dim dive
alive with the energy of teenagers in their parents’ basement
the place is covered with wood paneling, sweaters,
Converse All-Stars and thick-rimmed spectacles

walk into the bathroom
greeted by dark walls and the grinning face
of a panther plastered in black-light graffiti
I stare into the fierce feline’s hungry eyes
predator to predator, we take each other in
and then I piss

I begin to wonder
what weird brand of hipster hell
have I been clubbed over the head
with cheap pitchers of locally-brewed lager
and dragged, staggered and stammering

lobster gnocchi

the lobster gnocchi is on special tonight as are the sweaters and fur boots and hats
whiskey is on special too and so is the Danish eight percent beer
imported like the decor and the arrogance of these suburban swine
wiped and polished and taught to speak words in French and Italian
everything is on special tonight
except the patrons who still ogle the bartender
the televisions that still spouts scores and stats
the conversation still is boring
and everyone still tries too hard
I still roll my eyes
and the alcohol is still
the only reason I keep coming back