XL Bar

Do you remember those CD multi-stackers that were hidden in the boot of posh cars in the late eighties and early nineties? Imagine loading a five-stacker with; N-Sync, Now That’s What I Call Country, Nickelback, Michael Buble and Cher. Now press random play. Collette and I went to a one-percenters bar last night. Proper dregs.

Dark. Stale. Clingy. Heavy. Desperately unhygienic. The oppressive black painted ceiling literally lowered the roof a metre towards your head forcing us to frown. This was not a date.

An uncomfortable, toothless, booze-weathered, lone, over-dressed, fair and sunburnt Irish traveller with sweating lumps on his neck, possibly some hatching bot-fly larvae from a jungle trek two months ago, began to talk to us about the oppressive heat before making himself so awkward that he left before finishing his warm beer. Poor soul.

The rat-gnawed, satin seat covers had been baked in years of arse-hole sweat. The wooden arms sullied by the pollution-filmed skin of previous drunken world-bandits. Our butt cheeks itched with the aged remnants of past sweaty, drifters bum cracks and the various insects that appeared to actually live inside the table.  This was gross.

A filthy, empty, branded, perspex napkin holder formed part of the table furniture. It’s base was a sickening mix of twisted melted plastic and entombed ash from lazy smokers who couldn’t be bothered to reach the real ash tray.

I can’t wait to go back for Valentines Day on Tuesday.

Truly inspired by this visit, here is a poem I wrote about the hotspot which appears on my poem blog, INTYAYUṬE VĀKYAṀ

XL Bar

Hey babe, wanna go somewhere really unclean?
Where the walls crawl
and the toilets teem

I can’t promise you class
But there are stories by the glass
Just stay observant
And bring repellant

Hey babe, there’s no cocktail list here.
Gin’s not in
And scotch is a stretch
All that’s here
Is wine and beer

You see, men of this plot
Have had too much, ‘hot’*
Husbands ruin
Homes undoing

Hey babe, why is the air in here so dank?
It’s nights of fights
A wealth of ill health

The walls have ears
And they’ve spent the years
With broken homes
And lonely souls

“Two large Kingfisher please!”

* hot is the name for cheap Indian desperado liquor

Other poems I’ve written, here:

Watching A Fly On A Slate Table

The Bread And Roses Poetry Competition

Under A Tree in Rishikesh

Through The Grime Smiles Mahatma Gandhi

Further Notes On Watching A Fly On A Slate Table

Thanks for reading


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