Bradford Middleton was born in south-east London in the summer of 1971 and after time working in a wide variety of jobs ended up with a Masters degree in something fairly useless. He began writing poetry once he’d graduated in 2007 and has subsequently been published by Bareback Lit, Beatnik Cowboy, Dead Snakes, Electric Windmill, Empty Mirror, Five Poetry, Fuck Art Let’s Dance, Grandma Moses Press, Horror Sleaze Trash, In Between Hangovers, Mad Swirl, Madness Muse, Our Poetry Archive, Paper and Ink zine, Poetry Life and Times, Poetry Pacific, Ppigpenn, Razur Cuts, Chicago Record, Rolling Thunder Quarterly, Section 8 Magazine, The Literary Hatchet, Word Riot, Your One Phone Call and Zygote in my Coffee. He has a couple of chapbooks available from Crisis Chronicles Press (‘Drink Drank Drunk’, 2015) and Holy and Intoxicated Press (‘A Life Like This ain’t For the Faint-Hearted’, 2016). If you like why not go be his friend on facebook at bradfordmiddleton1.
DRINKING WITH LEGENDS It was a night I shall never remember The one in that bar on Columbus Avenue in San Francisco Where the legends of yore would go to get plastered And for one night only I became one of them Shuffling in, feeling nervous for no real reason I get to the bar and find a stool on which to rest Calling the bar-man over I order a beer and sit back Taking in this legendary view At the bar are a few who seem to have been there all day And everyday before for the last forty years Whilst all around are kids reading beat books hoping to become like their heroes But me, I’m just being the me I feel most comfortable with As the beer drains down swiftly and lovingly I move on to get a whisky and then it comes to me A plan of action to make this a night I’ll never remember So on I plough down the bar sampling every last whisky in the joint I chase them down with more imported beer until a point Where I can just about remember some of the old guys at the end of the bar Coming over and recounting stories of Janis and Jack Who used to drink like I am right now I’m drunk beyond belief but my head is in that place that it sometimes goes When it’s had a bit too much and I call the bar-man over He is not pleased as he wanted a quiet Tuesday night but no chance of that with me around Young man I taunt to a man who may be older than me I want to try this drink you sell, it’s called a Kerouac Can you make me one? I ask I think you’ve had enough already comes his reply so I know I have to up the ante and challenge him some how How about a little wager? I say If you make me one and I can drink it? No chance, you’ll never finish one of mine he taunts Smiling at the memories of past flies who had thought they could handle the insanity Two shots tequila, two shots white rum and then throw in some juice for colour But he pours them big and as he brings it over he tells me if I can drink it down in one And make it to the door without falling over I can have my tab expunged I look at him dead in the eye and feel his confidence falling off the crevice Down it goes and down his mood goes A hundred buck bar tab is his and he’s astonished at the ease with which it was despatched As I stand and walk towards the door I turn and take a bow for my fans at the end of the bar Who are clapping their appreciation at the heroic drinking of the out-of-towner ------------------------ Originally published by Empty Mirror and is forthcoming in my chapbook from Crisis Chronicles Press.
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