Drugs, Gold Bonds, And Harley’s Final Snooze

by Travis Mateer

What pulled people out west? Material opportunities, like finding gold. Or other opportunities, like reinventing yourself by moving to a piece of geography where no one know what you’re leaving behind. Or running from.

What are bonds? Bonds can be LOTS of things, apparently. Here are some of them:

And what are drugs and alcohol? For many people, they are a means of escape. Until the ultimate escape from this life occurs, which is death.

Another piece of ephemera I ran across led me to a story about alcohol and death from over a century ago. Here’s the ephemera:

I didn’t find anything on Wilfred Trudeau online, but I did find a story about Special Deputy, Edmund Trudeau, and the death he experienced when he kicked out a drunk from a dance hall in 1904:

Alcohol is quite a substance, one I’m happy to continue abstaining from. I used to think my writing needed its lubrication, but as most successful writers who stop drinking admit, they most certainly do NOT need the bottle–or, for me, the cardboard Bota Box–to write.

Here’s the poem. The song version with ukulele is at the end. Have a safe Memorial Day weekend.

Harley and his booze
took a final snooze
on the concrete bed
he made his own

street kids called him pops
taking vodka shots
on the sidewalk 
he declared his home

say hello to Joe
and all the bums you know
like ghosts I see them
in doorways downtown 

but they are not there
the windows only care
for a Zephyr wind
blowing dark and cold

and say hello to Sean
his story holding on
though Dogma blinders
keep the public dumb

Lord, I need your help
they hit below the belt
like what was done
to your only son

Lord, look around
this Double-Standard Town
keeps the word
far divorced from ground

I will not sit back
bemoaning every crack
knowing every dam
one day will break

like a glacial lake
their lies will drain away
and maybe then
we can start anew

until then lets prepare 
don't drink away your cares
stand up and find there's
good work left to do

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply