99 Bottles Over the Wall

On the tabletop of the sea sat a few empty bottles
surrounded by the detritus of discussion.
No burning butts, though,
the bar under water, the talk polite,
as if no riptide of innuendo threatened to drown out the quip.

Paddling out is hard enough; now
how does the stranded entrepreneur get back to the strand,
having drifted so far out?
The question is rhetorical and impossible, an impassable bottle.

This great bottle business denial,
all in the business of passing bottles,
unable to pass on this impassability business.

Across the bar there is no mission statement:
free to wander and listen to the swimming voices, sailing and selling, tacking back and forth, bantering and bartering.
Eventually, all sink, subsumed or consumed,
bottled in the great Ocean of Business,
no need for pain or pleasure, fear or courage, emotions or metaphor, opinion or belief,
swallowed within the immense immortal impassable snorkel bottle.


  1. Dan Hennessy says:

    Something about tacos , surfing , and beer ? Does it have a mission statement or not — not clear .pOs sibling E.E. joyCE like elewzion . Too many sailboats and sea gulls , though .


    1. Joe Linker says:

      No allusions, just hard to get past. What is not a business? All business, all the time. No getting past that wave, that wall. Take one down and pass it around, and when those are finished, the wall will be replenished. But if fishing for allusions, might try the nursery rhyme stream, Three Businessmen in a Tub or Swift’s Satire A Tale of a Pub. Business, like the ocean, is impassable. Poetry too is a business. Poets who think they’re above that, have crossed that bar? Broadsheets were the first blogs. Should have tagged the post Satire. Happy the reader Jane experienced some rhythm in it, created by the lulls (bottles = waves). The poet as entrepreneur, the poem as product, the blog as selling platform (just check your spam). Will try to clarify in later post, but comment was made, something like, mamas don’t let your children grow up to be businessmen. Talking to some guy doesn’t apparently think he’s in a business.

      “She had quite forgotten the Duchess by this time, and was a little startled when she heard her voice close to her ear. ‘You’re thinking about something, my dear, and that makes you forget to talk. I can’t tell you just now what the moral of that is, but I shall remember it in a bit.’

      ‘Perhaps it hasn’t one,’ Alice ventured to remark.

      ‘Tut, tut, child!’ said the Duchess. ‘Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.’ And she squeezed herself up closer to Alice’s side as she spoke.”

      But the Duchess lied. Everything does not got a moral. Still, it’s fun to go fishing for one.


  2. Love the rhythm, the reiterated words.


    1. Joe Linker says:

      Thanks for reading and comment, Jane.


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