It’s ninety degrees in the VIP area which resembles
Recess for prisoners of war. My buddy of thirty years is
An alcoholic Peter Pan, torn, faded Iron Maiden shirt
Chain-smoking, two four packs of Milwaukee’s Best tall boys to the wind
And a twenty borrowed from me that I’ll never see change for.
I’m worn down with a bad right knee and heatstroke,
My drinking days in the rearview, sipping Mountain Dew
And eyeing the fading club queens, tanning bed legs and
Halter tops grinding away at each other as if
Relieving themselves of that post-divorce itch.
The second opening band play r7b with a brass horn section
As the old 70’s tune goes “it aint what they call rock and roll.”
They look to be my dad’s age
But are possibly younger than I.
My buddy flips them off and tosses his empty pack at the stage.
Mutters something about stupid fucks only wearing flip flops to a mosh.
We wait for the main act to drag us back to the spandex and eyeliner
Rage of our youth. Its my knee that screams louder than the lead singer,
Longing to join those lounging on the grass
with their lawn chairs, coolers and blankets
Lightning splits the clouds and the rain falls cooling off those around us.
Security motions the soundboard to cut it short,
Which means I get to go home, get into something dry
Brew some tea, dig out some vinyl
And turn up the stereo.
Troy Schoultz is a lifelong Wisconsin resident. His poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in Seattle Review, Rattle, Slipstream, Chiron Review, Word Riot, Fish Drum, The Great American Poetry Show, Steel Toe Review, Midwestern Gothic and many others in the U.S. and U.K. since 1997. He is the author of two chapbooks and two full-length collections. His interests and influences include rock and roll, vinyl LPs, found objects, the paranormal, abandoned places, folklore, old cemeteries, and the number five. He hosts and produces S’kosh: The Oshkosh Podcast. For more information check out https://troyschoultz.wixsite.