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One Chance a Night

Author: Lost Sheep
ASL Info:    41 M Vancouver, WA
Elite Ratio:    6.25 - 913 /773 /73
Words: 212
Class/Type: Prose /Serious
Total Views: 1666
Average Vote:    No vote yet.
Bytes: 1391


This is the tale of a guy with a hobby and a talent for it. He really only lacks one thing.

One Chance a Night

He gets only one chance a night

He brushes the dust out of his hair
Straightens the wrinkles in his long jacket
Leaves his home under the bridge
And heads down to the club

The bartender gives him his usual coffee
On the house, of course
He never causes trouble
She’s friendly to him, allows him to stay

He washes his hands and face in the restroom
If he's alone, he'll rinse his hair
He pauses at his reflection
He looks tired, but his gray eyes still shine

He walks to the pool table
Grabs his favorite cue, one with a decent tip
He starts bouncing the cue ball off the rail
A little English, then some top spin
He practices off three rails
Putting the off-white ball just where he wants

Eventually, someone else comes in
Challenges him to a game
Now he owns the table
All challengers are welcome,
Quarters line the rail

He plays game after game as long as he wins
How many games tonight?
Two? Four? Ten?

Eventually, he makes a mistake
He loses
Finished for the evening, he heads 'home'

Lacking a pair of quarters,
He only gets one chance a night

Submitted on 2006-01-25 18:49:27     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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  Hmm i like ur words, but it seems to me that your just writeing a novel. simply telling a story with sentances. I think that if you did it in non-sentance form.. it would be great.

Nikki : )
| Posted on 2006-06-01 00:00:00 | by krazyhwitebtch | [ Reply to This ]
  nice story, Steve. i used to hustle pool for drinks back in my younger days.. not to brag, but
i could hold the table for most of the night.
i just started playing pool on-line, and it's quite
different. strange.. there's some people on there
who want to chat, and i'm like, "hey, i'm trying to
shoot here! this isn't a bar!"

i enjoyed your story. he's a damn good player if
he can stay on the table on just one quarter.
i'd challenge him!! 'course, it's been awhile, so i
can't promise i'd beat him!!

| Posted on 2006-02-22 00:00:00 | by magnicat | [ Reply to This ]
  As I've come to expect from you, this is a graphic poem, where the characterisation is vivid and precise, and the entire write is communicated in a language that is marvellously simplistic and succinct.
I’ve read a bit of your work now and I’ve noticed that you have a real flair for putting a sting into the end of your poems and shocking your reader. In this one you once more perfect that technique by showing that he lacks two quarters. My favourite line in the poem is:

A little English, then some top spin

It seems that your slipping into the lingo (I have friends who are avid players and they use terms like this). It elevates the poem so much. But the forceful voice in:

Now he owns the table
All challengers are welcome,
Quarters line the rail

Is brilliant in its concise, enthused voice that almost seems to show how ecstatic he is in his own domain.

An excellent write,
| Posted on 2006-02-18 00:00:00 | by Speacenik | [ Reply to This ]
  Another of your lonely people. You show a real interest in the plight of the homeless - and indeed there are many homeless people in Bristol. This poem is an incredible write. The idea of playing pool to have somewhere to stay and you really do describe the scene vividly. And you always capture people well. I can't see a word I'd change and the ending has so much pathos. A fav.
love and peace
| Posted on 2006-01-31 00:00:00 | by comradenessie | [ Reply to This ]
  Steve, This was very nice indeed. Quite touching in your portrayal of the human condition. Your
descrition is so vivid, that while reading the poem I was standing in his shoes feeling the lonliness and gratitude for small kindnesses that make so much difference in a life!

Another good one Steve !!!

| Posted on 2006-01-29 00:00:00 | by SHRINKSDR | [ Reply to This ]
  You have such a way of caturing people. You bring your observations right out so that we can see, and feel what you see and feel.

You have told me about this gentleman before. And I still have two quarters in my coat pocket for the day you point him out to me. Maybe that will be a night that he can have two chances...

A beautiful write,

| Posted on 2006-01-27 00:00:00 | by Chell | [ Reply to This ]
  Hey, i think this is really good i like how it is a story. but also a poem. such as it was the right length. you use good technique of some alliteration in some on the lines and approximate rhyme. i admire it. i think its really good
| Posted on 2006-03-02 00:00:00 | by H.a.n.n.a.h | [ Reply to This ]
  Ohhh, this is so sad. You have a wonderful way of bringing people to life with your poems. To me, this really conveys that regardless of our situation in life, we all have talents, desires, and skill. This poor man, homeless and alone, who pays his only quarter to play some pool. I would imagine he enjoys the company of the other people just as much as he does the warm bar and the game. It breaks my heart that some people end up living this way, so many different circumstances that result in this lifestyle, and not a lifestyle of choice for most who fall victim to it. Your poem is very well written and expressed and nicely descriptive allowing the reader to feel as if they were a part of the experience. Always a pleasure to read your work. Another touching poem, so very sad, yet still very good indeed. Take care.

| Posted on 2006-01-26 00:00:00 | by lmz | [ Reply to This ]
  Beem awhile since I have seen something from you but then again its been a while since I visited the site myself.
Homeless pool shark but I have a feeling there is a message in this one.
This reminds me of a gentleman that I knew growing up as a kid. He dressed shabby and lived in the park. He had a degree but chose to live simple. The moral of the story is don't judge a book by its cover. The poolshark was happy with his life and his venture to the bar each night to sucker the would be pool players was his way of living free and simple.
Very nicely done.

Let me know if I was off the mark because I am interested in the message in this write.

Respect and Admiration

| Posted on 2006-01-26 00:00:00 | by Wisdom Seeker | [ Reply to This ]
  I really liked this and could relate to it as I have worked in pubs and seen men just like the one you describe. I know of many who need the washroom facilities for personal hygiene, and as you say, don't bother anyone. I think of the pleasure it must give him when he is winning, drinking coffee, warm and decently clean. It must help to get through the night.

I liked this a lot, and you told the story without a lot of maudlin sentiment,-just up-front ,clean and tightly wraught.One of those poems that linger for a while as you reflect on similar scenes from your own personal files.
| Posted on 2006-01-26 00:00:00 | by Silverdog | [ Reply to This ]
  The homeless 'king' of his domain and the undeniable importance of winning (when not only the playing field, but life itself is level ground). Reminds me a bit of the theme of the recent movie "Cinderella Man" (and maybe every other underdog story involving the blessing of one perfect moment in one haloed place). Perfectly casual pacing and language in a tight vignette. Nicely done. Take care. Bill.
| Posted on 2006-01-25 00:00:00 | by rws | [ Reply to This ]
  Shooting pool! friends and I used to look forward to that every day after school (back in the mid-seventies! LOL!). We'd smoke our cigarettes and blow smoke rings, and let the butt hang out of the corner of our mouths, smoke rising up our noses and in our squinted eyes, while we seriously contemplated the aim of our shot.

As I grew older and developed new friendships and new places to play...I remember those quarters lining up...and how it felt to rule the table. (I wasn't too bad of a player!)

This write is so awesome to me, because of the memories you sparked. My thanks to you...I tip my hat...and pass the cue!
| Posted on 2006-01-25 00:00:00 | by KimmyMim | [ Reply to This ]
  I admire the simplicity of it. You've brought together a pretty good description of many "unimportant" people everywhere in the world. They have the potential but not the means. It's a cruel world. I realise I'm looking too far into this piece, but it was a fine read.

| Posted on 2006-01-25 00:00:00 | by DeepDreamer2008 | [ Reply to This ]

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