Fuzzy's was a real place in my hometown. It still is, as far as I know ... Fuzzy's Tavern.
I was never inside, but I was always intrigued by the swinging doors, just like in the movies, and by the mixture of sounds ... music and voices ... and those alien smells, a mixture of smoke and booze, I suppose, which came flowing out onto the street.
Fuzzy's is among my earliest memories of my hometown. I recall how Grandma would take my hand and guide me past.
As I say, I've never actually been inside Fuzzy's, so "Quiet Nights ..." is a product of a combination of early memories and my imagination. Oh, how that always enhances the memories.
When I wrote this poem, I imagined how it would have been to have followed the smoke as it drifted slowly through ... like a movie camera taking it all in ... then out the screened back door, out into that darkness "teeming with crickets and stars."
Someday I may go back to that little town where my journey began.
I'll go strolling down the east side of Main Street and, though I may feel that Grandma is still watching over where I go and what I do, I may venture inside Fuzzy's to see what it's really like.
Then again, I might just go strolling on by, like when Grandma led me past. I'd kinda hate to learn that it isn't anything like I imagined it to be.
QUIET NIGHTS AT FUZZY'S
A lazy blue haze wove its way through
a tide of voices rising against
the solemn blare of the jukebox,
curled past booths lining the walls
like dark coffins, crawled into the dim
light hanging forlorn, discontented,
at a tattered table where the deliberate
clack and roll of spheres marked
the ebb and flow of local riches,
back where lonely drinkers got serious
in the grips of sweaty brown
bottles, washing themselves beyond
remembering the din of summer rain
on the tin roof, beyond even caring
about fighting, then the smoke seeped
out the screened back door, off,
night after night, into a darkness
teeming with crickets and stars.
(second-place award winner in a Dayton Metro Library literary contest, and now part of a manuscript, a work in progress)
Today's word: memories