Monday, February 28, 2011

Free Write 1, Week 7

The Perfect Bar.

The bar must be secluded, intimate for conversation yet still retain a certain amount of interesting people. People with stories of their adventures as longshoreman in The North, people of the Wharf and surf. Or even people who can explain the geometry of billiards or how the engine block works. Next, the beer must be cheep and you must befriend the bartenders. These two 'musts' are the result of a single purpose, money. I don't want to spend a lot of it when I buy drinks and if the bartender likes you enough they might give you the freebie once in a while. Also misconduct and non-gentlemen like behavior can be handled void of Law enforcement. The last requirement is that it must be an environment of joy and not of depression or anger. I wish to see no sad saps crying into their gin and fizz nor do i wish to be accosted by a drunken youth. I wish to be in peace, in a place that unconsciously opens the mind and makes you think of strangers as people, with the aid of liquid courage.


  1. Ben,

    This idea of a perfect bar is an interesting one and leaves a lot of room for interpretation, irony, wordplay, what-have-you. That being said, this piece does a good job of it. The “longshoreman in The North,” the “geometry of billiards,” “sad saps crying into their gin and fizz,” all very nice. However, I think you could reach a little farther with it. Past “how the engine block works,” the piece loses some momentum. The descriptions become less colorful, less interesting to look at and get more mundane. I understand I have to befriend the bartender, but why? Is there a specific bartender you have in mind? What does he do? What are her mannerisms? Are there any pros to cheap beer besides the money? Does it taste a certain way you've grown accustomed to? What are the sad saps crying about? I just need more from this piece. I like where it's going, but a more intense overwrite would do well toward a poem-draft.

  2. Ben,
    This is an interesting topic, the perfect bar, so many possibilities to explore. I think you’re use of musts and don’t want is an effective mechanism for exploring those possibilities. In fact I would consider eliminating the use of wish when you expand and play with this piece and replace it with want to establish a want/don’t want dichotomy in the language. You might also look at contrasting the musts with some nevers to keep that tension going. I’d also like to see more explorations of the people in the bar. You’ve touched on the bartender a bit, and excluded “sad saps”, but what about the strangers you will come to think of as people. Who are they? In addition to that you might increase the specificity of the sad saps with some specific personal details that would eliminate the need to use the clichéd term and still portray the unwanted depressors.