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"I watch Dostoevsky in a small room drinking a glass..."
"What should it be? he'd heard the answer
at his first AA meeting. The nuthouse, the cemetery,
or jail?" Frank Lentricchia, The Dog Killers of Utica
"The first one is often fatal at your age,"
The Doc said. "You were lucky this time,
you beat the odds. Cut way back on the booze:
no hard stuff, an occasional brew, red wine
in moderation. Can the cigarettes and cut down
on the red meat and fatty foods. Eat some fruits
and vegetables. You might learn to like them."
"That's all the stuff I love. What am I supposed
to do, live like a monk?"
"It's up to you. All the stuff you love is killing you."
There he sits at the bar, mouthing off at the kid
behind the wood after a long hard day,
high pressure lobbying, major union biz,
blowing off excess steam, now, chain smoking
Lucky shorts, pounding VO Soda
like the import tax was about to double,
wondering whether it will be the Porterhouse
or the Strip Steak, hell, go for good stuff,
it's on the Union. Pauses, feeling a bit faint,
stands, figures it's been a long day, thinks,
when did he last eat, anyway? How many cocktails
was that? Seven? eight? nine…..holds that
thought, then his chest, other hand feeling for
a bar that is no longer there, dead before he hits