Great poem, Purdy is great, Downie is great. One of my favorites.
At The Quinte Hotel
by Al Purdy
I am drinking I am drinking yellow flowers in underground sunlight and you can see that I am a sensitive man and I notice that the bartender is a sensitive man so I tell him the beer he draws is half fart and half horse piss and all wonderful yellow flowers But the bartender is not quite so sensitive as I supposed he was the way he looks at me now and does not appreciate my exquisite analogy Over in one corner two guys are quietly making love in the brief prelude to infinity Opposite them a peculiar fight enables the drinkers to lay aside their comic books and watch with interest while I watch with interest a wiry little man slugs another guy then tracks him bleeding into the toliet and slugs him to the floor again with ugly red flowers on the tile three minutes later he roosters over to the table where his drunk friend sits with another friend and slugs both of em ass-over-electric-kettle so I have to walk around on my way for a piss Now I am a sensitive man so I say to him mildly as hell “You shouldn'ta knocked over that good beer with them beautiful flowers in it" So he says "Come on" So I Come On like a rabbit with weak kidneys I guess like a yellow streak charging on flower power I suppose & knock the shit outa him & sit on him (he is just a little guy) and say reprovingly "Violence will get you nowhere this time chum Now you take me I am a sensitive man and would you believe I write poems?" But I could see the doubt in his upside down face in fact in all the faces "What kind of poems?" "Flower poems" "So tell us a poem" I got off the little guy but reluctantly for he was comfortable and told them this poem They crowded around me with tears in their eyes and wrung my hands feelingly for my pockets for it was a heart-warming moment for literature and moved bt the demonstrable effect of great Art and the brotherhood of people I remarked ”-the poem oughta be worth some beer" It was a mistake in terminology for silence came and it was brought home to me in the tavern that poems will not realy buy beer or flowers or a goddam thing and I was sad for I am a sensitive man