Barista Favorite: Kings over Queens…/Eric Syrdal

We are pleased to announce the Barista Favorite from April 16th’s Promote Yourself Monday at Go Dog Go Cafe. It is Eric Syrdal’s poem Kings over Queens…

You can read more of Eric’s writing at My Sword and Shield….

A pop and a brief
smell of sulfur
I bring the match
to the end of the cigar
draw in the air
tip glows cherry red
shake out the flame
flick of my free hand
discard the match with its black curled end
draw in the sweet taste of
dead leaves that cost
a hell of a lot more than that price on my head
a grey thunderstorm rolls out of my mouth
and gently floats into the second story
like a rain cloud sneaking up
on an angel
it reaches Maria
leanin’ on the upstairs banister
dark eyes, looking down on me
like she did last night
when she came to my room and
threw those coffee-colored thighs
around my hips
we boiled over like water
onto a cast iron stove
she sizzled like holy water
on the devil’s cock
and then we murdered a bottle of red-eye
before she draped herself over me
like a warm, soft blanket
that smelled like juniper and rosewater
slept off the haze
with my hand cupped around what’s hidin’ under that
black frilled bustle of hers
I give her a wink as I set my cigar
into the corner of my mouth
pinewood mingles with wood smoke
hanging heavy in the tense air
at our card table
See?
it was round the second hand’a’cards
this fella figured he didn’t like my
Miss-Zippy accent
I found a way to tell him
I was pretty tired
of his gap-toothed brown and yella grin
right side of the saloon cleared out
when I laid my colt over my lap
left side cleared out
when I cocked the hammer back
must be that money following me around
and those posters
makes folks all jumpy as hell
all on’a count of that
claim-jumper in Dodge city
drew down in the street
preacher-man got in between us
I sent a chunk-a-lead
into genesis clean through deuteronomy
before he got my point
sent him back to the chapel
to change his britches and his outlook on life
it was legal
law don’t say it was
but it was
now this goofy-sum-bitch
thinks he’s gonna reach for that
card he’s got in his boot
and live to tell the tale
his boy over there
has been eye-fuckin me from the bar
sent the tender to clear out the back
but what he don’t understand
is once I finish poking six holes
in his partner here
that sawed-off scatter gun’s gonna paint this room
a particular shade of stupid
but I don’t think it’s gonna come to that
cuz ole’boy here is shaking
like a sapling in a thunderstorm
and irrigating his side of the table
with a funky-smellin
shower of salt and lost pride
I think he mighta even pissed himself
I bring the colt up and nudge my hat back
before I lay my hand out on the table
3 kings nod their approval
and 2 ladies hide coy smiles behind folded fans
My eyes don’t look to my cards
only a wink at the cold fish across the way
“looks like there’s no more room at the inn”,
I puff, letting the cigar smoke carry my arrogance
he blinks at the colt muzzle staring him down
“I’ll get your bags…you pay the bill”

7 thoughts on “Barista Favorite: Kings over Queens…/Eric Syrdal

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