Shards of Flat Scribbles

Give In, and Join The Crowd!
by Ryan Hardgrove

I fill up these notebooks
with all these words
but what’s the use?

the sky is blue
and everyone knows it
sometimes it’s gray
and everyone knows that too

deep into the night
saddled at the bar
the autumn crowd
is typically a bit more boisterous
it’s easier to lie to yourself
when the weather is pleasant

a barroom pal
lands the stool next to mine
mumbles something about a dart game
and too many 50 cent tacos
he drops a couple pills
into my cramped pen hand
I toss them into my mouth
without inspecting them
and bite down hard once
before swallowing the bitter shards
with a mouth full of flat beer

after the pills kick in
and enough beer is swallowed
the barroom gets real easy to accept
all the faces seem happy with me
at first they were wary of my pen
and head-down-scribbles
but now they seem to recognize me
as one of their own

they all know it’s no use
all these notebooks full of words
they know just as well as I do

but it’s easy
to look around the barroom
when the windows turn black
with autumn night blankness
and we are all roasting inside
amidst endless golden taps
and warm purring neons

it’s easy to forget
about the notebook and the pen

I think I’ll hunt down my barroom pal
for some more of those pills
maybe order a few tacos


Ryan Hardgrove is currently wading through his late twenties as a feckless bartender and responsible father. He is also a writer and a musician. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his common law wife and their son.


Published by


I am a dreamer, as well as a doer, who lives in the North Georgia mountains. I started my publishing journey August of 2013, have had moderate success, but my utmost passion is my "daytime" job, which is working with adults who are constantly striving to better their lives as they obtain the GED credential.

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