I HEART DENIS JOHNSON
Children flew around the bar in a fierce game of tag.
In between cheesy posters of old stars like Dean, Monroe, and Elvis,
glass-eyed dead animals hung on the wall. There were heads of elk, moose,
at least one Montana lynx, a diorama of a bobcat taking down a fawn,
and a seven-foot shellacked marlin. Near a septic tank that had been
re-welded into a massive wood-burning stove, Tony Brown, the Club Bar
proprietor and, along with Denis Johnson, co-instigator of the Poetry
Slam, doled out mountain lion brisket stew on hamburger buns from an
electric crockpot. Two women were selling deer jerky, dried morels,
and jars of pickles and preserves on a card table near the entrance.
Mel, Tony’s super cute, out-of-state niece, who was taking a semester
off from Michigan State to get her act together, was behind the 96 foot-long
mahogany bar, which had been shipped and railroaded in from France 100
years before during a gold boom. This, a young attractive educated woman
behind a bar in Troy, anywhere within 400 miles of Troy, was an oddity
akin to Gwen Ifel falling from the sky to serve us drinks.
You can read I Heart Denis Johnson in its entirety in issue 2 of Swink.
Michael A. FitzGerald lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife, Catherine Jones, and their preternaturally gifted one-year-old, Ignatius. He has work appearing in the next Massachusetts Review. His novel, Does Anyone Know You’ve Gone This Way?, needs a publisher.
© 2007 Swink, Inc.