by Roland King
If you can count all the references in this poem, you're a scholar of religions
|A priest and a Buddhist walk into a bar
(no punchline here)
The priest has given up his collar.
“Why the long face?” asks the bartender.
The priest glances up at a picture of a horse
on the wall, and orders some red wine.
“For this is my blood,” says the bartender
as he pours him a glass, “Am I right?”
The priest doesn’t meet his eyes. Bartender
continues, “I’m afraid I have no bread to give you,
though I do have peanuts.”
A shining crystal bowl of nuts slides
towards the priest’s hands.
He takes his cup.
The Buddhist sits in a quiet corner of the bar
watching a man in black drink his wine.
“Hey Sid!” yells the bartender
in his direction.
“Why don’t you stop drinkin’ alone?
Come over and have a drink with this guy.
I think you’d get along.”
He stands up and slides around the octagonal table,
then slips onto a stool without a sound.
“What’ll it be?”
Replies, “Just a water.”
“You’re in the wrong place for water Sid. What is it
with you? Why don’t you ever buy a drink? Bad Karma?
“I’ll give you precisely
eight reasons why.”
The priest chuckles.
“Funny,” he adds, “I’d give you seven.”
The Buddhist laughs, slaps the bar.
The bartender pipes up, “I like six myself;
three of ‘em.
Whiskey all around?”