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He’s a Drunk

He does this sort of jig when he’s drunk and still drinking

Like a lazy footed Mohammed Ali

bobbing back and forward from knee to knee

I watch fascinated by this unconscious dance

Him gaining and losing his balance

momentarily locking out the bend from one knee

steadying himself briefly

until the locked knee gives way

and he’s jigging again


His smoking arm has a purple hand of stiff fingers stuck on its end

and a perpetual cigarette burnt down to the filter wedged in the V between two fingers

His drinking arm jerks out of time with his jig

it does this reverse beckoning action in slow jerky movements

causing his drink to slosh in the glass

but at least the fingers on this hand

can curl around a glass


◄ Box set

He's a Poet ►


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Wed 3rd Feb 2016 13:17

Thank you for the comment, Dazzer. M:)

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Darren Lea-grime

Wed 3rd Feb 2016 12:53

this dragged me in michelle, i think it was the description of the locked knee that got me and at that point i knew it wasnt going to be a happy poem. great stuff on a sad subject

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Mon 27th Jul 2015 12:50

Thank you Tommy for reading and commenting. Though I do appreciate your and Cynthia's view (I made line break changes because of Cynthia's comment), I didn't want irony in the title of this, I wanted to make a direct point. Thank you.

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Tommy Carroll

Mon 27th Jul 2015 10:33

Hi Michelle, an image I have seen and engaged in many times, rarely now. You have captured the moment precisely.
I think Cynthia has a strong point re 'dancer'. If you replace 'drunk' with dancer, top and bottom of the piece it makes it powerfully ironic(?) Tommy

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Thu 2nd Jul 2015 18:10

Thanks Huw.

Graham, spot on with sadness.

Thank you both for reading and commenting. Much appreciated.


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Graham Sherwood

Thu 2nd Jul 2015 17:59

I expected this to be tragic/comic as drunks albeit tragic are often comical to look at when trying to make progress walking etc.
Although your perfectly described narrative could be thought to convey comedy, it is obvious your whole intention is one of sadness for this hapless individual.
Not easy to achieve, well done!

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Thu 2nd Jul 2015 11:49

Thank you for taking time to read and comment, Cynthia. I like your comments and appreciate your time. Thank you.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Thu 2nd Jul 2015 11:38

I really enjoyed this - excellent descriptive power, detail piling on detail. IMO, I'd continue to do line breaks with the final six lines; I don't think you would lose impact, and the pace would not slow down.

The final line is so good, as a finale, would you consider calling the poem 'The Dancer' leaving the reader really punched by the 'grim opposite' of the title. Just a thought.

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