19 Straight Whiskeys by Doug Draime

If I would have been
there at the Chelsea Hotel,
with Dylan Thomas
the night
they drove him away
in an ambulance.
I would have told him all
the fame and booze
was mutilating
his soul.
The hangers on, writers, editors,
other drunks, leeches, and the women
spreading their
nylon legs.
All of them killing him,
or watching him die
and doing nothing to stop it.
They say he said on that night
“I’ve had 18 straight whiskeys. I think
that’s the record.”
I would have told him all that shit was killing him.
I would have cut him off at 9 whiskeys.
But then again, maybe I might’ve
kept my nose out
of his business and matched him
drink for drink,
going on and beating his record
with 19 and
leaving with one of the
women before
the ambulance arrived.

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