Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A poem to celebrate the completion of 30 non-drinking days and nights

The Nominated Driver

A shorter version was written for Shetland Library's 'Bards in the Bogs' scheme, but the site specific nature of the poem probably told against it: it can only be displayed at the Voe toilets, an important, nay crucial staging post on the long road, the A970, between Lerwick and the North Mainland, especially if drink has been taken on board in Coalfishreek. This is part of the live show Tom Morton's Drinking for Scotland, booked for the Belladrum Festival's Co-op Verb garden. And possibly elsewhere in due course.


The nominated driver sits
And most deliberately shits

It's three AM, midsummer, Voe
He didn't really need to go

And this is most unsalubrious
The graffitti extremely dubious

The chauffeur needed to take a break
Though agreeing to drive was no mistake

He's never really liked the drink
With it, he finds, he just can't think

Straight, crooked, birly - any way
So sober, now, he likes to stay

And sometimes, he'll take his friends to town
And watch them pour the draught beer down

Their conversation, brilliant or slight
To him all just the purest shite

He sips his iced Coke, a dash of bitters
A cocktail found in literature

In Raymond Chandler's Marlowe thrillers
Drunk by the hero, not the killers

And not by Chandler, to tell the truth
Who died a hopeless, gibbering drouth

(A different Chandler from the one in Friends
Though they may come to similar ends)

Anyway, tonight, they went
to Posers, until the cash was spent

And now they're heading home, to Brae
Next week, though, he'll make them pay

For valeting his car, the bonnet
Even now is smeared with vomit.

And the back seat is soaked in piss
They aimed for a cider can and missed

So. In the crapper at Upper Voe
It's nearly time for him to go

They're singing Hank Williams and Steve Earle
Dreaming of missed chances with girls

They'll remember nothing of this night
The falling down, being sick, the fights

But the nominated driver will
In the toilet he's writing still

In his notebook, with great care
All sorts of things are detailed there

For staying sober there are compensations
He retains a wealth of information

All documented, filed and stored
Ready to settle any score

So never underestimate
Sobriety's capacity to hate

Always suspect that teetotal bloke
If he puts bitters in his Coke.

1 comment:

tracy said...

Most excellent! Thank you.