i want to drink beer out of paper cups.
get a pitcher of pbr at the bowling alley
and bowl like eight or nine games
until my back hurts and the bartender
won’t sell me anymore pitchers of pbr.
i want to order like twelve hotdogs
from the concession stand and eat them
standing outside while i try and sober up
so the bartender will sell me more
pitchers of pbr.
i want to show up right as the bowling alley
opens its doors for the day and stay
until they shut off all the lane lights.
i want to ignore the bowlers who have my lane
reserved for league night and i want
to ignore the birthday party of mostly ten year olds
who have my lane reserved
for party bowl with the black lights
and bumpers and glowing balls.
because this is my game
and this is my place
i feel at one with the oily greasy everything,
with the carpet so stamped down from foot traffic
that it’s becoming like concrete,
with the man pretending to have a heart attack
so i can buy him a beer and revive him
or maybe it’s his liquid last rites.
this isn’t a quirky reference
to the big lebowski.
i’m not calling myself the dude or talking about rugs
or yelling over the line or shut the fuck up, donnie
or drinking white russians and saying fuckin eh, man.
this is about the sadness that lives in a bowling alley.
this is about how i feel like i grew up here.
and these are my people.
and this is my game.
and i can use bumpers if i need to.