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Steven M. Smith

The Trouble with Tipsy

Tipsy lets you wipe your nose on your sleeve, 

stumble with your shoes untied, wobble


with your fly unzipped.  Tipsy loves it when you knock

your knee into a door jamb then heave f-bombs out


the window into the street.  Tipsy takes pride 

in your pain, so be sure to miss the bottom step 

when you go down the stairs in the dark.  Tipsy likes 

it when you spill lies on the bar, spit at the beach,


put empty ice cream cartons back in the freezer, fall 

asleep on the pizza you put in the oven.  Tipsy applauds

your blurred speech and slurred vision.  Tipsy wants

you to remove the band of vows from your finger


when you go carousing, and always remember to mumble 

in sick the next day.  When life sucks, Tipsy says ignite a cigarette.


Tipsy needs you to crank up the volume after being asked 

to turn it down.  Tipsy loves the attention, so ignore


the heels of the clock’s truant officers tick-tocking up

behind you.  Tipsy adores your acid reflux,


nurtures your brain fog, caresses your stupid talk,

waves to your memory bye-bye.  And Tipsy


always replies when you ask for another:

“Oh, it’s no trouble—no trouble at all!”

Steven M. Smith’s poems have appeared in publications such as Rattle, Poem, Old Red Kimono, Plainsongs, Poetrybay, Ibbetson Street Press, Studio One, The River, Cabildo Quarterly, and Mudfish. He is the Writing Center director at the State University of New York at Oswego, and resides in North Syracuse, New York.

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