Dave Newman: "Bar Dreams" & Three More Poems

Dave Newman is the author of the novels Raymond Carver Will Not Raise Our Children (Writers Tribe Books, 2012) and Please Don’t Shoot Anyone Tonight(World Parade Books, 2010), and four poetry chapbooks, most recently Allen Ginsberg Comes To Pittsburgh.

Bar Dreams

A man who drank Bud drafts at the Irwin Hotel
in all sad seriousness
“Kid, I ought to buy me a bar”
then mooched a dollar bill from my pile.


-for Neal
Pig, I write this poem to honor you.
Pig, you are a hard animal to honor.
You are not like the pigs in the movies.
You do not learn tricks or inspire
spiders to write perfect words.
You have a brain the size of an egg
and you weigh three-hundred pounds.
Your nose is a shovel and bulldozer
and you smash your face into mud with glee.
Pig, you are so fucking stupid.
Once you were a noble animal called a boar
and your tusks were sharp enough
to slice a hunter’s leg down to bone.
You ran wild in Africa and Asia
and instilled great fear in the natives.
Then you let yourself be caught and tamed
and bred with other pigs and now you are happy
to eat apple cores and dried corn.
You do not look up from the trough
when we kill your family for you are a pig
and selfish and completely uncaring.
You do not even bother to chew your cud.
Pig, you are not kosher.
Pig, the Qur’an calls you dirty.
Jews hate you and Muslims hate you.
Pig, you unite the world.
Only you can bring peace to the Middle East
where no one will eat you
and you will be condemned by all.
Pig, here is your poem.
Grow as large as America in America
where you will be eaten by all religions
and all ethnicities and all races.
Pig, stay stupid and fat and hated.
Thank you for tasting so delicious.

The Worst Weed I Ever Bought

smelled great
didn’t get me stoned
and tasted delicious
in a nice tomato sauce
over angel hair pasta.

Margaret Called God and God Wasn’t There

Dear Mr. Death—
I hope to kill a couple guys in bars
so other guys in bars buy me drinks
and their women all blow me.
Let me die while being blown, Mr. Death.
Let me die while fucking in a cemetery.
Is this asking for too much?
I’ll be 18 in three months and I feel old.
The creepy guy at the gas station
says I have a porn-star mustache.
Is it wrong to hatchet his fat skull?
There are many fat skulls to hatchet.
I should hatchet my own fat skull.
I’ve seen it in the movies and on TV.
Maybe telling myself I want to die
is the best way to keep from dying.
Maybe 100 years will come and not be enough.
Save me from the tree and the car.
Save me from the alcoholic overdose.
Save me from the sensible miracles
my mother and father pray for me.
I don’t even need to kill those guys in bars.
I don’t even need to win the fucking fight.
I can take a punch and don’t mind unconsciousness.
At 17, victory is a beautiful middle-aged woman
with a tattoo on her tit, nursing my busted nose
with an ice-filled rag and wet kisses on my forehead.
Are you there Death?
It’s me, Dave.
Cultural Weekly is proud to premiere these poems in this edition.

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