So this is where all the poems come

to eye each other up,

to snigger and bitch

over fancy cocktails,

mocking the jaded clichés

still loud and glitzy at the bar

or the pale metaphors with fraying cuffs

who creep away before closing time

to forage in the skip out back

and the nervy confessionals staring

at their own reflections as they sip

blood-red liquor distilled from worn-out hearts.

Occasionally the place falls silent

when a pale figure in a black cape

and floppy hat loops in distractedly.

Ah, the real thing, they mutter enviously

but all in all, nothing much happens here

and it can get messy as the evening wears on.

The poems grow ever more edgy, you see,

dreading the thought of another lonely night unread