Original Writing: ‘Waitress’

Master Maker of
cocktails, coffee and
Taster of Tips
at the bar
drinking a jar
or two
with fellow hustlers…

Does this sound familiar to you?

3 jobs and counting;
If these pennies are mounting
I’ve not conquered Everest yet:
Still climbing
how many steps I can take around one room

Taking orders from tables of
housewives with prams
into corners
just to keep me on my toes
never mind my woes
I’m here for you to pay my rent.
I feel this system is rather bent.

Slick seconds slog slowly…
Lunch rush,
then the cutlery polishing soul crush.

The evening announces itself with the
last bright rays, and the first
golden pint
now I’ve lost count how many I’ve poured.

Ever onwards march the minutes and
in my mind
I write a poem of kinds

You feature.
And you.
My favourite customers
and the rather mad.
It’s not bad.
It borders my brain and makes for ample trippage.

4 hours, 8.
I can’t tell you how much I hate
scraping plates
trays of meaningless shit
What and I meant to do with this?

12 hours, 15.
We all just need to let off steam.
This is the point adrenaline
Kicks in
Sure, we can function
talk laugh run
Long after your office day is done
Smiling for customers
we wish would bugger off

Why are all regulars always slightly irregular?

18 hours: the massive
clean up
scrub down
kick out
the leering
and scream
at who ever’s had a drink on the job
who can’t count tips
who called first dibs
on taxi cabs home

This place is a disgusting scab on the earth
Double Shift sucks the Life and Mirth
out of any optimist

I drift
eyes glazed

I got here at 9
fresh, fine
leaving at the next day at 3
I can’t feel past my knees

We’re all the same
walking home
in the early hours
some of us dreaming of nothing but sleep
others, past it, steeped
in everything their parents told them not to touch–
never too much
just enough to keep them  going…

I’m going.
How long can I traipse from Cafe to Bar
to Vista al Mar, Hotel by the shore
doesn’t matter if it’s pretty or in tatters
I’m getting older
my time is starting to matter.

I get home and routinely
wash and dress
this mess
for bed.
6 hours
If only if were more.
Back again for breakfast.

I’ve forgotten when I last ate
my teeth grate in my mouth
like forgotten foreign objects
alien bits of bone
unused and unknown

I might still be dreaming
My skin is steaming

Hand in my coat.
What’s this? A note.
Oh, my poem.
How novel: I once had the brain energy
to write in longhand.

I am in the wrong land.


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