Category Archives: DRUNKENNESS

“Why don’t we just invite them to dinner and massacare them when they’re drunk?” “You heard the man, there’s 7000 of them” “Ah…so it would have to be something simple with pasta then?” Pratchett.

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I come from a family that had an alcoholic and a binge drinker in it. Drinking and smoking helped kill my grandfather at age 70 and also helped kill my abusive first stepfather who died at the age of 45. It also took many years for me to overcome the flashbacks from my childhood. I lived it. I know the truth. Drinking has no place in the home.

Duane Alan Hahn

I am the man for eating and drinking but for fighting here is my humpbacked brother.

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“I remember one time, back in the day, I was at his [Bill Ward] house and he said, ‘Oh, ’ello Ozzy. You’ll never guess what? I’ve just come out of a coma.’
‘What d’you mean, a coma? That’s one stage removed from being dead. You know that, don’t you, Bill?’
‘All I know is I went to bed on Friday, and now it’s Tuesday, and I only just woke up. That’s a coma, isn’t it?’
‘No, that’s taking too many drugs and drinking too much cider and sleeping for three days in a row, you d**k.’”

     ~ Ozzy Osbourne, I am Ozzy

“Lessee…he’d gone off after the funeral and gotten drunk. No, not drunk, another word, ended with “er.” Drunker. that was it.” ― Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!

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‘ on my honour.’
‘On your honour as a drunken rowdy thief?’ said Tiffany.
Rob Anybody beamed.  ‘Aye!’ he said.  ‘An’ I got a lot of good big reputation to protect there!’



An Irishman is never drunk as long as he can hold onto one blade of grass to keep from falling off the earth.


Ron White: I got thrown out of a bar in New York City. Now, when I say I got thrown out of a bar, I don’t mean someone asked me to leave, and we walked to the door together, and I said, “Bye everyone, I gotta go!” Six bouncers picked me up and hurled me out of that bar like I was a Frisbee. Those big old New York bouncers that think that bouncing is cool. They hang out with other bouncers, talking about bouncing. They go home at night and watch ‘Road House’ and fondle themselves. For wearing a hat. I walk into a bar and the bouncer comes over to me, real pissy, and goes, “Take off the hat!” I’m like, “What’s the deal?” He goes, “I’ll tell you what the deal is. Gay people in this area wear hats; we’re tryin’ to keep them out of our club!” Oh really? The only way we can tell down in Texas is if they have their hair cut like, yours. And he got all pissed. Anyway, I took off the hat, and he walked away. About an hour later, I was drinking and I forgot. Ever forget? It happened to me. I put the hat on, and he comes back over. Now, I’m between six-one and six-six depending on which convenience store I’m leaving. I weigh two hundred and thirty pounds, and this guy comes over, poking me in the shoulder. He says, “You’re outta here!” and I said, “I don’t think so, Scooter!” And I was wrong. They hurled me out of that bar. And then they squared off with me in the parking lot, and I backed down from the fight, cause I don’t know how many of them it would have taken to whip my ass, but I knew how many they were going to use. That’s a handy little piece of information, right there. Well, they called the police because we broke a chair on the way out the door, and I refused to pay for it. I refused to pay for it cause *we* broke it over *my* thigh. The cops showed up, and at that point, I had the right to remain silent, but I didn’t have the ability. The cop was like, “Mr. White, you are being charged with drunk in public-KA!” I was like, “Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! I was drunk in a bar! They, threw me into public-KA! I don’t want to be drunk in public-KA! I wanna be drunk in a bar, which is perfectly legal! Arrest them!” Well, he didn’t arrest them, instead he made me do a field sobriety test, where you stand on one foot, raise the other foot six inches off the ground, and count to thirty. I made it to “woo!” Is that going to be close enough? It wasn’t, so they called in for my arrest record. There’s some good news! Satellites are linking up in outer space. Computer banks at NASA are kicking on.


This drunkenness began in some other tavern. When I get back around to that place, I’ll be completely sober. ~Rumi

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“Need ‘nether whiskey. Whiskey chaser. Gotta get two men drunk.’

Mr. Cohan placed both hands on the bar. ‘Mr. Walsh,’ he said severely, ‘in Gavagan’s we will serve a man a drink to wet his whistle, or even because his old woman has pasted him with a dornick, but a drink to get drunk with I do not sell. Now I’m telling you you’ve had enough for tonight, and in the morning you’ll be thanking me…’ (“My Brother’s Keeper”)” 

― Fletcher PrattTales From Gavagan’s Bar

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Praying Drunk Our Father who art in heaven, I am drunk. Again. Red wine. Andrew Hudgins.

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For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking.


It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone. John Steinbeck,

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Children don’t say his name or try to find him.

Dad is not a word they use. His absence is a thin

Erratic line through the years. At five, his own

Father left, and never returned. Call it a pattern.

The Welfare Of My Enemy by Anthony Lawrence

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunk man is happier than a sober one. George Bernard Shaw,

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Love We Recognize 

by Kim Downs

Jane’s father used to drink and bash up his wife.
Jane’s mother forgave him again and again.
She thought love was like that. She didn’t know better.
She told Jane her father just had a bad temper.
She shouldn’t provoke him. It was mostly her fault.
Jane’s father used to drink and bash up his wife.
Jane watched this happen two hundred times
Before she reached puberty; and then … and later.
She thought love was like that. She didn’t know better.
At eighteen, Jane started to take her first lovers.
She chose ones with tempers. They seemed so familiar.
Jane’s father used to drink and bash up his wife.
Jane married Bill, a motor mechanic.
She fell pregnant. Had a daughter. Then another. Then a son.
She thought love was like that. She didn’t know better.
When Bill would get drunk … then angry … then hit her,
Jane forgave him. Like her mother. Like her daughters. Because:
Jane’s father used to drink and bash up his wife.
She thought love was like that. She didn’t know better.

Elizabeth Joceline: Drunkennesse is the highway to hell.

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George Ade:
Those dry Martinis were too much for me.
Last night I really felt immense,
To-day I feel like thirty cents;
It is no time for mirth and laughter
In the cold grey dawn of the morning after.

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e. e. cummings:
humanity i love you because
when you’re hard up you pawn you
intelligence to buy a drink.

“I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed but all I could do was to get drunk again.” ― Charles Bukowski

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The Bailey Barracks

Tall and bright the flowers stand:

defiant of the smoke clouds,
drowning in an ocean of liquor.
As I borrow from the lungs of my companions
My drunk mind figures,
Maybe the flowers  deserve better.

The bar is an island
surrounded by endless suits;

Brown—no, Johnson—talks sales.
“Another brew, sweetheart.”

She stands tall and bright
her eyes watering

as she provides salvation from a tap;
a mother, a shepherd, her gaunt face weathers.

And as I borrow smoke from the lungs of my companions,
my drunk mind figures,

maybe she deserves better.

Freddie Young – Melbourne Boys Grammar School

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A man’s true character comes out when he’s drunk. Charles Chaplin

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Please Stop, Mom.

© Kayla S. Birdno
I smell the whiskey on your breath.
And you beg for me to put your temper to the test.
You slap me around, and call me names.
Mom, I’m sick of playing these games.

Source: Please Stop Drinking, Mom, Addiction Poem about Family
Family Friend Poems

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Alcohol is perfectly consistent in its effects upon man. Drunkenness is merely an exaggeration. A foolish man drunk becomes maudlin; a bloody man, vicious; a coarse man, vulgar.

WILLA CATHER, “On the Divide,” The Troll Garden


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Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 – 1872), Saturday 13 May 1893

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1 1 1 1 1 Illustrated Sydney News (NSW - 1853 - 1872), Saturday 13 May 189325


1 1 1 1 1 Illustrated Sydney News (NSW - 1853 - 1872), Saturday 13 May 1893

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Proverbs 23:20-21 ESV : Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.




Woroni (Canberra, ACT : 1950 – 2007), Thursday 15 June 1967

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“When we drink, we get drunk.
When we get drunk, we fall asleep.
When we fall asleep, we commit no sin.
When we commit no sin, we go to heaven.
So, let’s all get drunk, and go to heaven!”
— Irish Toast

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“Heaven! that’s another tale. Mightn’t let me chew there. Gotta have me a pot of ale; would I like the brew there?

Robert Service,Grandad

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You were given this life, because you are strong enough to live it. Robin Sharma


I’m not funny. What I am is brave. Lucille Ball

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Coming Home

Jan Oskar Hansen
© 2006

My flat was in mourning, layers of dust were veils
of sorrow, I had been away for weeks leaving
it in darkness and in the melancholy of confusing
half light, not nothing whether it was dawn or
evening. I switched on the table lamp opened
a widow and the room breathed in relief, it was
built to house humanity, had felt rejected and
was beginning to take on the lifeless coldness
museums and art galleries have after closing time.

Opened the fridge two tins of tuna fish, wasn’t
hungry, but to the gladness of my heart a bottle
of red wine; uncorked it, lovely aroma, filled it
to the brim and drank. Shrugged of the nonsense
said at the clinic, where ex drunks who had never
enjoyed wine, tried to convert me to a sullen
existence of meekly accepting the arid life. Took
the bottle into the living room switched on the telly
and we, the room and I, were great friends again.

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Poetry and Alcohol

Jan Oskar Hansen
© 2006

The two of us we have lived together long,
she sits in the kitchen watching Brazilian soaps,
I read TLS which gives me an edge even though I think some of the stuff is effete and some of the famous writers and painters are totally overvalued.

I do catch a glance of the TV in the living room from
time to time, a nature program that irritates me, the
Australian hero is actually worrying the wild animals and I hope he will be bitten by a crocodile, or trampled by an irate elephant. No such luck.

Andrew Motion wrote something about oral poetry,
I appeared once at poetry venue, nervously drank
too much, and insulted the organizer. Wish the TLS
would adopt me. Really!  But like late George Best,
I’m a loose cannon liable to tell them to fuck off

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Morning Chronicle (Sydney, NSW : 1843 – 1846), Wednesday 19 June 1844,

1 1 1 1 1 1 Morning Chronicle (Sydney, NSW - 1843 - 1846), Wednesday 19 June 1844,

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No free woman should be allowed any more than one maid to follow her, unless she was drunk.”    

Zaleucus, 7th century BC greek law code.

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He was seventy-two, and yet there was still time for this dream to change to a nightmare. C. S. Forester, Hornblower and the Crisis

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He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts, for support rather than illumination.

Andrew Lang, a gentle needle



As for a Drunkard, who is voluntarie’s daemon, he hath (as hath been said) no privilege thereby, but what hurt or ill so ever he doeth, his drunkenness doth aggravate it


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You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.


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A Drought Idyll

by George Essex Evans (1863 – 1909)

Australian writer

It was the middle of the drought; the ground was hot and bare,
You might search for grass with a microscope, but nary grass was there;
The hay was done, the cornstalks gone, the trees were dying fast,
The sun o’erhead was a curse in red and the wind was a furnace blast;
The waterholes were sun-baked mud, the drays stood thick as bees
Around the well, a mile away, amid the ringbarked trees.

McGinty left his pumpkin-pie and gazed upon the scene:
His cows stood propped ‘gainst tree and fence wherever they could lean;
The horse he’d fixed with sapling forks had fallen down once more;
The fleas were hopping joyfully on stockyard, path, and floor;
The flies in thousands buzzed about before his waving hand;
The hungry pigs squealed as he said, “Me own, me native land!”

“Queensland, me Mother! Ain’t yer well?” he asked. “Come tell me how’s —”
“Dry up! Dry up!” yelled Mrs Mac, “Go out and feed the cows.”
“But where’s the feed?” McGinty cried, “The sugarcane’s all done —
It wasn’t worth the bally freight we paid for it per ton.
I’ll get me little axe and go with Possum and the mare
For ‘arf a ton of apple-tree or a load of prickly-pear.”

“The prickly-pear’ll kill the cows unless yer bile it right,”
Cried Mrs Mac, “and I don’t mean to bile it all the night.
They tell me fer a bob a bag the brewery will sell
Their refuse stuff, like Simpson ‘ad — his cows is doin’ well.
Yer get the loan of Bampston’s dray and borrer Freeny’s nags,
And fetch along a decent load, McGinty — thirty bags.

McGinty borrowed Bampston’s dray and hitched up Freeney’s nags
And drove like blazes into town and fetched back thirty bags.
The stuff was mellow, soft, and brown; and if you came too near
It shed around a lovely scent till the air seemed full of beer,
McGinty fetched each feedbox out and filled it to the brim,
Then lit his pipe and fell asleep. That was the style of him.

The cows, they lurched off fence and tree and staggered in to feed,
The horses tottered after them — old, feeble, and knock-kneed.
But when they smelt that sacred stuff in boxes on the ground
They smiled and neighed and lowed and twirled their hungry tails around.
You would have walked a hundred miles or more to see and hear
They way McGinty’s stock attacked that stuff that smelt like beer …

“Wake up! Wake up! McGinty man! Wake up!” yelled Mrs Mac.
She held a broom and every word was followed by a whack.
McGinty had been dreaming hard that it was Judgement Day
And he was drafted with the goats and being driven away;
The Devil with a toasting fork was jabbing at his jaw,
He rose and yelled and fled outside — and this is what he saw:

The brindle cow, with spotted tail, was trying to climb a tree;
The spotted cow, with brindled tail, to imitate a flea;
Old Bally who had lost one horn engaged in combat stout
With the Lincoln ram whose only eye McGinty had knocked out;
With tails entwined, among the trees, went Bessie and Basilk,
Singing, “Goodbye, McGinty, we will come back with the milk.”

McGinty, trembling, viewed the scene in wonderment and funk,
Then lifted up his voice and roared, “Mother, the cows is drunk!
Look at that bloomin’ heifer with ‘er ‘ead ‘ung down the sty,
Telling the sow she loves ‘er but she some’ow can’t tell why.
Three of ’em snoring on their backs, the rest all on the loose —
Ain’t there no police in these parts when cows gets on the boose?”

McGinty viewed the orgy with a jealousy profound —
Cows in various states of drunk were scattered all around;
But most his rage was heightened by the conduct of the horse
That stood and laughed, and laughed, and laughed — and laughed without remorse —
That horse so oft he’d lifted up and propped with logs and boughs
Now leant against a tree and mocked McGinty and his cows.

“Bring soda-water, Mother,” cried McGinty, “Bring a tub”
(Forgetting that he lived about a league from any pub.)
“I swear by soda-water when the drink illumes my brow,
And if it fixes up a man it ought to fix a cow.”
But as he spoke a boozy steer approached with speed intense
And helped McGinty over to the safe side of the fence.

Regret and hate and envy held McGinty where he sat.
“To think,” he said, “these purple cows should have a time like that!
For months I couldn’t raise a drink — it wasn’t up to me;
Yet every bally head of stock I’ve got is on the spree.
This comes when you forget to keep a bottle on the shelf.”
Inspired, he rose and smote his brow and fetched a spoon and delf —
“My word!” he said. “It’s up to me to feed on this meself!”


I smell the whiskey on your breath. And you beg for me to put your temper to the test. You slap me around, and call me names. Mom, I’m sick of playing these games.

Please Stop, Mom. © Kayla S. BirdnoDRUNKENNESS BANISHED1 1 1 1 1 1 1 The Daily News (Perth, WA - 1882 - 1950), Tuesday 8 August 1950,

The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 – 1950), Tuesday 8 August 1950,

I have never heard a more eloquent silence.” Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

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Mithridatum of Despair

We know no mithridatum of despair
as drunks, the angry penguins of the night,
straddling the cobbles of the square,
tying a shoelace by fogged lamplight.
We know no astringent pain,
no flecking of thought’s dull eternal sea
in garret image, of Spain
and love…now love’s parody.

See – chaos spark, struck from flint
and the plunging distemper, flare in the dawn’s dull seep
of milkcart horse, morning horse
chaos horse, walking at three to the doors of sleep
with the creamy poison.
convulsions endure
from nine to five,
all life immure.
and still alive.

we know no mithridatum, nor the remembered dregs of fear,
the glass stands dry and silted; no end is near.


We know no mithridatum of despair as drunks


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As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapour that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did — then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen — Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair.


There are a lot of people who can do it on the guitar and sing at the same time, but I think what is harder is bass players that can play the bass and sing. Graham Coxon




Briefly – I fell in and out of love
and in and out and in and out some more,
swore off drugs and took them up again,
finished two books and started on a third:
was granted a modest place on the honours list
whenever two other Sydney poets got together, pissed.

Poets’s Note: May 1980
© 1991, Laurie Duggan
From: Adventures in Paradise

Ladies who play with fire must remember that smoke gets in their eyes.” Mae West

Blind Justice

Old Auntie

spits of conversation
splatter against brown brick
urban squalor
she shambles
slowly past song
into dementia
a bottle curved fondly
into clawed arthritic shape
wasted and spare
as autumn passing
a winter’s sentence
in a bare concrete cell

I heard you screech
slurred defiance back at smug
colonial control
meet conspiracy with non-cooperation
a glaring silence eloquent
with protest
but still they took you
heart country life and mind
all gone now

she shuffles watches
liquid-memory images dissolve
in the bottom of emptiness

©Jennifer A Martiniello

Old Auntie was published in the ASA Journal (1997).