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Passions in Poetry

Hemingway Revisits Sloppy Joe's - 1999

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Balladeer
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since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


0 posted 07-07-99 10:18 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

(Sloppy Joe's in Key West was Hemingway's favorite bar at the height of his writing career. This is a depiction of what would happen if Ernie were to rise and see the old waterin' hole now......)

Why, hello, Ernie! Been a while
Since you have stopped by here.
Sit down on your favorite stool
And let me pour the beer.

We heard that you were dead but
'Round here everybody knows
That, if you ever reappeared,
You'd come to Sloppy Joe's.

What's that? There's been some changes?
It's a while since you been gone
And nobody knows more than you
That life keeps movin' on

New babies come and old men leave
'Cause that's the way life goes,
But Time stands still for men like you
And bars like Sloppy Joe's.

The music? Well, they call it rock.
Not much more I can say.
I know it's not the mellow tunes
We handled in your day...

But the college kids who fill the bar
Aren't hep to none of those
So we adjust and stay alive
With this - at Sloppy Joe's.

All the people in here now
Are from the tourist boats.
Whatsamatter, Ernie?
You got something in your throat?

Have another beer. In days gone by
Your arm was never slow.
Many a day from dawn to dusk
You spent at Sloppy Joe's.

Want a bite to eat? A little snack?
We built a restaurant
Right in the corner at the back
With anything you want.

Burritos, nachos, tacos
For the benefit of those
Who build an appetite while
Spending time at Sloppy Joe's.

But let me tell you, Ernie,
Although time goes marching on
We never for a second have
Forgot our favorite son.

The genius of the written word,
The paragon of prose,
The man who graced our portals
Daily here at Sloppy Joe's.

Look around and you will find
Your pictures are displayed
On that far wall right beside
The video arcade.

And, over here, we built a store
With all things tourists want
Like T-shirts, hats and banners
With your picture on the front.

Are those tears I see of gratitude?
No need for none of those.
We do it gladly for the man
Who's king of Sloppy Joe's.

You're leaving us so soon, my friend?
You need to buy a gun?
Your skin's a trifle pale so
Be careful of the sun.

And, when you pass this way again,
Stop by and say hello.
We'll let the old times live again
At your favorite Sloppy Joe's.

© Copyright 1999 Michael Mack - All Rights Reserved
Nan
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since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


1 posted 07-07-99 10:20 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Even Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein would be proud of you, Balladeer - I particularly like this one, considering that I'm teaching both The Old Man and the Sea and The Sun Also Rises to my summer-school kids...
Poetwheel
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since 07-07-99
Posts 215
Canada


2 posted 07-08-99 10:52 AM       View Profile for Poetwheel   Email Poetwheel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Poetwheel's Home Page   View IP for Poetwheel

I like this one too. Ernies a little taken by all the modernism and commercialism, but hey, he's dead! Time rolls on. I think I get your point though, and many times I've wished I had been born 2 decades earlier, in simpler times...
PW

------------------
Poetic Wheelbarrow
Andrew Scott
Member Elite
since 06-24-99
Posts 2655
Redlands,CA,USA


3 posted 07-08-99 12:38 PM       View Profile for Andrew Scott   Email Andrew Scott   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Andrew Scott

And to think, in 20 or 30 years people will look back and say that today we lived in a simpler time. It is always a pleasure read your fine works.
elvira
Senior Member
since 07-06-99
Posts 985
California


4 posted 07-08-99 01:11 PM       View Profile for elvira   Email elvira   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for elvira

although Hemingway is not one of my favorites, your poem made me long for days gone by as well

------------------
i never call a poem "nice" or such,
for that would not be saying much
Fred Hobbs
Member
since 06-08-99
Posts 353
Tallahassee, Florida, US


5 posted 07-08-99 08:42 PM       View Profile for Fred Hobbs   Email Fred Hobbs   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Fred Hobbs's Home Page   View IP for Fred Hobbs

A great tribute Balladeer. Excellent as always!

It's not about a time gone by
This thing that saddens you and I
It's not about loud rock and roll
Or tourists on a sunburned stroll
It has to do with rugged lives
And fishermen and wayward wives
And Islanders with deadly knives
The man is gone, the place survives...

Viva Papa!
sandman
Balladeer
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Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


6 posted 07-08-99 08:57 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you all

and, Fred.......brilliant!!!
Poet deVine
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since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley


7 posted 07-08-99 08:59 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

This poem bothered me. That's why I didn't post a reply right away. This is such a statement of life - here in Hemingway's reaction to the changes he sees. We can never go back! I think we should take each day as a precious gift - use it fully, because someday, it will be gone.
wayoutwalt
Member Ascendant
since 06-22-99
Posts 5106
TEXAS (it's all big)


8 posted 07-19-99 12:28 AM       View Profile for wayoutwalt   Email wayoutwalt   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for wayoutwalt

this one is just too good to let slip away actually thought i'd posted on it when 1st i read it i was delighted and readin again no less delight
 
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