Treasure Island

David Lewis Paget

(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

The Blueshell Bar


From Monday through to Friday and,
For some, on the weekends too,
There’s a constant round of students here
Attacking the Chinglish stew,
They sweat on the riddle of English tense,
Of gender, of verb and noun,
But Friday nights and their teachers here
Are ready to hit the town.

In old Wenzhou, Canadians,
The Poms and the Aussies rule,
New Zealanders with their flattened vowels,
And Yanks with their godamm drawl,
The Scots are there with the Sassenachs
Their vowels like treacle glue,
‘If ye’ dinna gae doun tae the Blueshell, man,
I’ll nae hae a drink wi’ you! ’

For after a week of adjectives,
Blank faces and wo bu dongs,
They’re ready to slip their traces, and
Retreat to the restaurants,
Their prepositions are shelved at last
With a proposition or two,
Then they all go down to the Blueshell Bar
Where it huddles off Wendi Lu.

From ten o’clock to the early hours
They scramble for space at the bar,
The music’s played at a surly scream
Or drops to a sullen roar,
There’s Chinese faces as well in there,
And girls with a shapely rear,
All perched on stools with the foreign fools
While swilling the local beer.

And down the back there’s another room
Where the groups philosophise,
Over a ‘Jack’ or a Vodka, man,
They talk of their loves and lives,
And over the mumble of bleary talk
A voice rings out at the brink:
‘The world is screwed, it’s over man...
It’s time for another drink! ’

‘It’s time for another drink, ’ he says,
And slams a Tequila down,
A ‘Jack’, a Bacardi One-Five-One,
A bottle of old Tsing Dao,
‘I loved her, man, but I let her go...’
I hear as I hit the street,
And stagger home in the early hours...
‘Are you coming back? ’
‘Next week! ’

1 April 2006

Submitted: Friday, March 31, 2006
Edited: Monday, November 03, 2008

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  • Jimmy Mooney (4/3/2006 6:08:00 AM)

    Damn good poem, but I don't recognize myself, man... the towering blaze of color whose drunken slurs are composed of perceptions that enlighten everyone's understanding of life. (Report) Reply

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