“Two Poets Walk Into a Bar” by Eric Raanan Fischman

Two Poets Walk Into a Bar

Two poets walk into a bar. The first poet orders a blind mountain with elephant tusks. But this isn’t a piano bar, and they are all out of ivories. So the bartender mixes up some gravel and grass into a black mug, and spits in a tooth. The poet swivels on his stool.

The second poet steps up to the bar and orders a yellow speed demon. “What the fuck is a yellow speed demon,” the bartender asks? “I don’t know the poet says, but I need it fast.” So the bartender pours out a barrel of lightning onto the floor, and the poet slides right out the door.

A third poet enters the bar and orders a beer. This is an American poet. He doesn’t wash his feet in paint, but rust. Outside, his pickup is also thirsty and calls out for a bottle. “I told you,” the bartender says, “we don’t serve gases here, only suns.” Meanwhile the poet burns politely in a corner, melting the jukebox with his thumb.

Somehow the three wind up at the same table, including the one outside. “What was the punchline of this joke?” one asks. “Punchline?” they answer in unison. Suddenly there is only one poet and no bar. The rain is silver with mackerel. “Fucking surrealist bartender,” the poet says, and wanders into the storm.


Eric Raanan Fischman is an escaped New Yorker and runaway orthodox Jew in Colorado’s witness protection program for having witnessed too many sunless skies. He is a sometimes teacher at the Beyond Academia Free Skool and has had work in South Broadway Ghost Society, Bombay Gin, the Boulder Weekly, Morning/Mourning, and the Punch Drunk Press Anthology. He is the author of “Mordy Gets Enlightened,” published through The Little Door at Lunamopolis in 2017, parts of which also appeared in Kleft Jaw.

Featured Image by Elliott Blair

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