The Blog

A Celebration of Drinking (Or why I prefer drinking to writing)


I prefer drinking to writing.
Any sane person would.
Writing is for those who want their voice heard
Drinking is for those who want the voices in their head
To st …“Bring it down just a notch, fellas, would you?
Bring it down
To a dull roar.”

I’m not sure my voice is capable of reaching the decibels
I hear from the din of the Internet
I’m not sure my voice is capable of reaching anyone
Anymore.
I yell at my daughter and curse the flies that buzz around my head.
The flies in my ointment hoot and snicker as I wheeze and wheedle,
They laugh hysterically as my voice cracks, splinters and pops
Like an old phonograph rendered useless, destined for the trash bin.

My wife says I mumble too much,
But I’m quite sure she doesn’t want to hear what I have to say,
So I say it low, so not to offend anyone.
That’s my noose – my inability to say what I mean.
That’s why I choke on words yet written –
They hold promise like bottles of booze unopened
Or batches of poems unpublished.
It’s like getting soused and letting a good simile flee the scene
With your muse none the wiser.

Yes, I have flies that terrorize me. Flies who clearly want to distract me from my work.
These flies surely have one purpose and one purpose only:
To drive me to drink.
And drinking, as I’ve asserted, is better than writing,
So I applaud them. Those bastard flies.
They and my daughter, I am certain,
Have conspired to kill me before my 40th birthday,
Either that or give me an ulcer that makes me wish damn well I was dead.

Drinking tequila is better than writing verse – At least it feels better going down.
Fulfilling thirst with a cleansing rain is better than living in a state of perpetual drought.
Writing invokes little reaction but drinking imbibes all sorts of possibilities.
Yes, drinking will kill me before the flies or my daughter seize the chance.
I will die intoxicated, for it is written in my liver’s will and last testament,
But it’s better than writing for no audience.
It’s better than imitating those pesky writers whose voices bellow to the masses,
My voice, it is clear, sounds better toasted – a lone uttering not meant to be heard.

I’ve poured another drink down my throat to prove to no one in particular
That consuming alcohol is more productive than writing well-meaning words on a page.
Think about it for a sober moment.
I drink tequila and without doubt or hesitation,
It enters my bloodstream and floods my brain causing jolts of strange, uneven thoughts.
As a writer, I would hope to induce the same stir of passion in my reader’s brain
But how rarely do we succeed –
How often does any writer have the desired, consistent effect
Of a shot of tequila? A snifter of brandy? A glass of wine? A bottle of beer?

Drinking, an honest teetotaler would admit – shamefully or not – gets to the point.
It drives a stake through the heartlessness of the matter.
It exposes the crux of the sham. It shakes vines. Stomps grapes. Devastates lives.
Drinking drives us all to the pleasure of not having to think about our sad state of affairs.
Drinking makes us whole in the same brutal sense that writing brands us incomplete.
The world would be lost without a happy drunk.
Drinking is not for the weak of heart, nor the short or light of mind.
Those who drink to escape the world are sadly beguiled.
God gave drink to tolerate the mess that man – yes, man – has created.

God saves your soul,
But She – yes, She – does not for an instant meddle on earth,
Not for the sake of being heard, anyway.
But if God did break Her rule of silence and spoke, perhaps She would say:

“Save your voice, my petulant child,
Spare us your drunken rants and hyperbole,
The world could make do with one less jaded opinion.
But if you must speak, then sweet Jesus, speak wisely,
Make your pitch your own creation,
Soften your tone –
Make it heavenly,
Harden your timbre –
Make it hellish,
(You need not ask – Drink the nectar,
Delight in the fruits of the garden!)

When you are done with drink, be silent,
For silence is a forgotten virtue
And speech interrupts the pattern.
When required, speak.
Speak sound, speak full and say whatever you damn – yes, damn – well please
And when you choose to raise the volume, raise it as high as you like,
But be sure to extend it to the far reaches of some octave
Where drinkers armed with fly swatters can hear.” ~ DC 10/4/06

About Dan Cafaro

Dan Cafaro is the founder and publisher of Atticus Books, a small press based in Madison, N.J. When Dan is not following his wife around the country, he is known to sit for long periods of time pondering how to live off the grid. Atticus Review is his first literary journal.

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