by Brian Beatty
Back in the grunge nineties
while taking a breather between
sets my college buddy Paul
who played guitar and sang
for the cover band headlining that night
was out front of this dive bar
finishing his smoke
when he was jumped
by drunk townies
wielding broken beer bottles.
One of them he stabbed in the face
with his cigarette. Another Paul shoved
into the traffic creeping past to gawk.
The other local tough guys fled
into the sudden, sullen dark.
(Bio: Brian Beatty is the author of the poetry collections Borrowed Trouble, Dust and Stars: Miniatures, Brazil, Indiana: A Folk Poem and Coyotes I Couldn’t See. His next chapbook, Magpies and Crows, is scheduled for publication by Ravenna Press sometime in 2021. A spoken-word album of Beatty’s poetry, Hobo Radio, featuring original music by Charlie Parr, was released by Corrector Records in January 2021. Beatty’s poems and stories have appeared in numerous print and digital publications, as well as in public art projects and on public radio. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His Spoken Word poetry album “Hobo Radio” can be found here. His books can be found here, and here, as well as in The Yard: Crime Blog’s Bookstore.)