The Drunk Sonnets
by Daniel Bailey
I’M A LITTLE HUNGRY BUT DRUNK
I WANT FORGIVENESS IN A BEEHIVE
LIKE A DOG WITH THE BENDS IN THE ARCTIC
AND COVERED IN ICE FURS
MY FIRST PRAYER TO GOD WENT
I DON’T KNOW IF I’M DOING THIS RIGHT
MY LAST PRAYER TO GOD WENT
I KNOW FOR A FACT I’M NOT DOING THIS RIGHT
I CAN’T SLEEP AT NIGHT AND AT DAY I DONT’ WANT AWAKE
AND A BODY THAT RUSTS INTO HARD AND AND UNBELIEVABLE
I WILL BE NOT ALIVE FOREVER EXCEPT FOR THE DRY BED
MY HANDS ARE TOO SMALL TO CARRY WHATEVER THIS IS
ACTUALLY, A HABIT OF DOLPHINS THAT LIVE IN CAPTIVITY
TO EAT FISH OUT OF BUCKETS AND SLEEP IN THE SALT AND THE WATER
I much prefer Baudelaire’s version of over indulgence but Bailey certainly has a great sense of humor. ‘Tis the season for office holiday parties, white elephant gift night with the buds and other opportune events to let down your hair, put on a lamp shade and over indulge. Here are a few tips to avoid incarceration, termination or break-ups with your current squeeze.
- Don’t try and keep up. Let’s face it, most people can’t drink up to the living large standards of their friends and alcoholic relatives. Let them do the heavy lifting this December and New Years. Skip the first round and then go every other from there, making sure they are picking up the tab along the way if you are out on the town. They will run out of steam after their fifth drink and you’ll only have had two.
- Bring poetry to read aloud to all holiday gatherings. Read one poem every 30 minutes, by announcing loudly, “Can everyone be quiet, I have something MARVELOUS to share.” Nothing will kill the vibe at that party faster and you won’t have time to get plastered. The event will end much quicker than planned and you can go home with extra doggy bags of left over food where you can drink like a responsible adult, on your sofa.
- Become an Uber driver and then charge all your friends and relatives to drive them to and from the events you are invited. It will give you a sense of purpose to be the designated UBERIST and you can make some extra cash for the holidays.
- Ride the bus to all your scheduled events. You will arrive 45 minutes late and have to leave by 9:45 to get to your bus stop and so likely you’ll only have time for a couple of drinks.
- Use the buddy system. This is similar to option #1, except be sure to go to all the events with your favorite drunk. Someone who has a great sense of humor, killer sarcasm and a supernatural knowledge of 1990’s television shows for trivia. Pick them up when they are 3 cocktails into the afternoon at .10 blood alcohol content and then watch as they slur their way to .20 over the next couple of hours. Watching them make a complete fool of themselves while you are dead sober will keep you to a two drink maximum. Remember to bring a plastic bucket in your car in case your friend is a 1:30 am White Castle snacking barfer. This tip also applies to Option #3.
I hope you find these holiday survival tips to getting plowed helpful. Happy Holidays!
(Paris Spleen, 1864)
by Charles Baudelaire
Il faut être toujours ivre. Tout est là: c’est l’unique question. Pour ne pas sentir l’horrible fardeau du Temps qui brise vos épaules et vous penche vers la terre, il faut vous enivrer sans trêve.
Mais de quoi? De vin, de poésie ou de vertu, à votre guise. Mais enivrez-vous.
Et si quelquefois, sur les marches d’un palais, sur l’herbe verte d’un fossé, dans la solitude morne de votre chambre, vous vous réveillez, l’ivresse déjà diminuée ou disparue, demandez au vent, à la vague, à l’étoile, à l’oiseau, à l’horloge, à tout ce qui fuit, à tout ce qui gémit, à tout ce qui roule, à tout ce qui chante, à tout ce qui parle, demandez quelle heure il est et le vent, la vague, l’étoile, l’oiseau, l’horloge, vous répondront: “Il est l’heure de s’enivrer! Pour n’être pas les esclaves martyrisés du Temps, enivrez-vous; enivrez-vous sans cesse! De vin, de poésie ou de vertu, à votre guise.”
Be always drunken. Nothing else matters: that is the only question. If you would not feel the horrible burden of Time weighing on your shoulders and crushing you to the earth, be drunken continually.Drunken with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will. But be drunken. And if sometimes, on the stairs of a palace, or on the green side of a ditch, or in the dreary solitude of your own room, you should awaken and the drunkenness be half or wholly slipped away from you, ask of the wind, or of the wave, or of the star, or of the bird, or of the clock, of whatever flies, or sighs, or rocks, or sings, or speaks, ask what hour it is; and the wind, wave, star, bird, clock, will answer you: “It is the hour to be drunken! Be drunken, if you would not be martyred slaves of Time; be drunken continually! With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will.”
Arthur Symons translation, as quoted by Eugene O’Neill in Long Day’s Journey into Night