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I want to drink like Don Draper

—from an Old-Fashioned glass, all day long and a TV hangover. Safe in my starched white shirt, soft & thick in the shoulders. Easy in my creased American pants with their careless power, my missing self gently folded behind this drama-mask hairline, behind my 5 o’clock shadow & my gorgeous boredom at business as usual.

I do not mix drinks anymore.
since I left the children alone one night
to drive up the hill for a pale blue bottle of gin
that deadly hot summer when I pegged the laundry
on the line in rainbowthetical order
and waited to have my skull sawed open.

I filled their bright, shallow pool,
replenished their stacks of practical sandwiches,
stirred cans of tap water into concentrated fruit juice
while hovering police helicopters ate
the neighborhood’s weekday peace,
and 5 o’clock came earlier & earlier.

There’s nothing quite like pinning down a whole life
using just a glass & some liquor.
Nothing like watching antennae lose their signals
and panicked wings struggle less and less
against the heavy edge.

Everything’s more awkward now
since I ran out of drink tickets,
and I say the privilege of knowing that
and other feelings is a kind of power.

Still, when I watch him pour a fat glass of rye at any old time of day — he’s riled, victorious, bored. He’s broken-hearted with being — when I watch him rushing numb from his car-crash afternoon, his decent body, his fake freedom, and another brand of freedom moves in to stake its claim in the space of his heart, that’s when I want to drink like Don Draper.


About the Author: Alison Moncrieff writes and raises chickens and children in Oakland, her home of 30 years. Her work appeared most recently in Bay Area Generations, and she has a poem forthcoming in broadside from Little Red Leaves Textile Series. She is currently developing a series of sacred garments to boost the superpowers of 21st century people. Find her playing in the intersection of stitch and poetry at woolontheradio.tumblr.com.