Tuesday, June 16, 2020

DRINKING AT THE RIVIERA LOUNGE by MICHAEL MINASSIAN


Back in my college days
my friends and I
hung out at the Riviera
Lounge on Main Street
drinking beers and gawking 
at the go-go girls
in tight bikinis with sparkles
and thigh high white boots.

Sitting between
tough guys, greasers,
and wannabes
who left us pretty
much alone
after one hard look 
from the bartender,
my friend’s Uncle Vinny, 
who owned the bar
and the small
restaurant next door.

We liked the girls and beer 
so much we brought 
our other friends;
funny how none 
of them ever came
back more than once…

We didn’t understand
until the night
Vinny put some drunk’s
head through the glass
door out front
then told us to get out
before the cops got there

Better to cruise out
to Route 4, 
find a quiet spot,
some pool tables,
cold beer, 
and no blood
on the floor.

We missed the girls,
though, dancing behind
the oval shaped bar
and the cold jolt
of fear you felt
every time you
walked in the door.






MICHAEL MINASSIAN is a Contributing Editor for Verse-Virtual. His short stories and poems have appeared in such journals as Comstock Review, Evening Street Review, Main Street Rag and Poet Lore. His chapbooks include poetry: The Arboriculturist (2010); Chuncheon Journal (2019); and photography: Around the Bend (2017). His poetry collection Time is Not a River was released in 2020.


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