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Serious DrinkingPeter Porter
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Vol. 10 No. 19 · 27 October 1988
Poem

Serious Drinking

Peter Porter

140 words

It comes from wanting to be perfect.
All human pain from spite to rape
Is just a reading on the grape
And all these living counterfeits
Are for philosophers’ defeats.
A discontent so undivine
Moves water one notch up to wine.
Put it away, here comes the prefect.

The sinner is paid in his own coin.
Blood is love’s apotheosis
And brings the liver to cirrhosis,
The flowers of sleep which towered stand
Are the famed brandy of the damned
And Wunderkinder who begin
With champagne lights may end in gin.
A drink, lest I forget thee, Zion.

Which human host can match the Devil?
God’s watery water is no use –
The anthropologists’ excuse
States every known society
Makes alcohol and poetry
Which in their likenesses explore
Creation’s toxic metaphor.
Sober I shake and drunk I drivel.

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