the miraculous alcoholics inundate the floodgates of the blood
they’re going to get so trashed
a dumpster the size of the grand canyon
will be needed to manage their vast wasted vistas.
the open range of their intoxication may approximate
the square acreage of several western states.
bold robespierres will storm their frontal lobes’ bastilles
and guillotine sobriety, crying
out the name of the finest wine they tasted.
these gloating bridegrooms betrothed to froth and foam
will shout I do, vowing to violate
drinking laws in every state. poured on
the rocks or straight. emptied by their gaping jaws,
locks and dams will stand there shocked.
firewater riles their ire, gives their cerebellums gills,
lubricates tongues until mouths can’t keep shut,
steers them to the nearest bierstube for their fill,
hurls gutterballs into their scuttlebutt.
their waves of drinking bring
oceanography to its wobbly seaweed knees.
it wrings its fins and warns
of hundred-proof tsunamis.
everyone’s ordered to evacuate.
the miraculous alcoholics refuse.
when they throw a party
everyone comes, gods, goddesses, slaves, and beggars,
living and dead, ancient and modern.
no one is ignored, left behind, absent or forgotten.
even the lotus eaters leave their island behind.
all are invited by divine skywriting.
they abandon caves and palaces to escape themselves,
to thrust aside country, city, responsibility.
time and space bend, elastic, slung by shots
and draughts’ onslaughts. the dancing
guffaws at the flawed laws of gravity.
the music melts walls. all consciousness,
all limits cease to exist. party games sow
overflowing crowds who outgrow
what holds them back from bliss.
elpenor’s shade escapes hades
drinks too much wine,
falls off their roof and survives.
it is a night of endless desires.
it is as sure a rite as the stars
and their black sky of burning fires.
Matt Schumacher’s chapbook, favorite maritime drinking songs of the miraculous alcoholics, was published last year, and his third book, Ghost Town Odes, will be published later this year. Poetry editor for the journal Phantom Drift, he lives in Portland, Oregon.