Gareth Culshaw

The Loner in the Bar

He took hold of the pint glass
with his cash card fingers.

He nodded at the bar girl
like he knew her. She smiled

with fruit machine teeth.
He took out his ciggies,

placed one in his mouth
like he was back standing

in the schoolyard. His eyes
were losing light and needed

changing, but he carried on
into the dark.

He sipped his pint with a mouth
that was opened each morning

by a ring-pull. He came back in,
and saw the bar girl hold empties

with her two fingered hand. He
elbowed his pint, swigged it

with the shock of a man who finds
he has piles on a workday morning.


Gareth lives in Wales. He has his first collection out by futurecycle called The Miner.