the interview

Poem #3 from The Book of Evenings

Back to: The Book of Evenings – Introduction

when you’ve said ‘see ya’ to the boys
at about four
you jump in the car and head for home
because there’s always a few odds and sods to be done
the missus will want to see you
and let you know a few things
and so on
until it starts rising six o’clock
when you get in the car again
and head for the pub

now there’s some blokes
you know
who like to start early
and head for the one over the road there
on their breakfast break at work
then back again
for a liquid lunch
but I reckon they must be bloody alcy‘s

the evening session is good enough for me

and really
if you’re a bloke in this town you have to be there
because all your mates will be in and they depend on you
want to know what’s going on if you don’t show
they’d never let up some of them
if they reckoned your missus was playing the dictator
so it’s important

my word
that first touch of foam is good
a man works all bloody day for that moment
tastes better than a woman

position is important in the main bar
you can’t stand over there
it’s too close to the open fire
boil your beer if you’re not careful
a bit of distance is better
and a lot of the places are claimed by regulars
Greggy and Darc generally go to that corner
Norm and Freddy prop the bar
just beside the TAB betting
Johnno’s back against the fishing club wall over there
under the stuffed murray cod
big bastard that one was
Bluey got him above the weir in ’79

and so you usually end up about here
with a bit of something to lean against
good view across the bar
to see who’s coming and going in the place
and you want to have a sticky at the bar-girls of course
Janie and Marie
lovely girls they are
Janie organises the children’s hospital appeal every year
It’s a big deal around the place
Marie’s married to a blow-in from out of town
they live on a little hobby farm on the outskirts
five bare-arsed acres of scrub and a hacienda

some blokes like to sit on a stool
but really you’re better off to stand and talk
there’s something about the sound of voices in the bar
around about happy hour
that just makes you feel at home

anyway what else do you want to know

oh well
a lot of the blokes in this town work shifts
with plenty of days off and holidays
and end up with time on their hands
now and then
so they’ll come here and have a yap with the other blokes
to see who’s got a bit of cash work on the go
you might as well earn a bit of beer money
as spend your spare time going nuts at home
with the missus and kids around you all the time
it’s a good place to do business
is the pub

something you should remember
if anyone happens to ask
is that you only ever have two beers at the pub
never more
the first one and the last one
that’d be right
wouldn’t it
only ever the two pots

so by the time you’ve finished that second one
that I just told you about
it’s pushing seven thirty and you’ve got to get going
because the missus will have dinner done
and getting cold
so you tell the blokes ’hoo roo’ and get gone

we don’t have much trouble with the coppers here
but it’s best to be careful and go the back way
mind you
you never know where the buggers will turn up these days

sometimes you’ll sit down at the table
to have dinner with herself
but often as not
you might as well sit in the lounge
and watch that ‘Blue Heelers’ show on telly
she’ll clean up the dishes
and as likely as not you might drift off for a minute
catch a little bit of shut-eye
it’s a long day you know

the movie might be worth watching
but most nights it’s easier just to go to bed
for an early start in the morning

will that do you

all right
cheers then

© Frank Prem 2003

The Book of Evenings Poem #4:


7 thoughts on “the interview

  1. I can see it all. I have to admit I did bristle about the “missus” having to clean up the dishes ( of the meal that she cooked) ,while he nods off in front of the telly, but that’s just the feminist in me!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. certainly captured the feeling, the ambiance and essences – of the scene, the local pub, the rites and rituals, a passage in time that unfolds almost daily, if not so, for many – an every man’s club, well before the new populist term “man cave” ….. well done Frank 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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