May 19, 2020

Cocktail Talk: The Last Saturn Bar Poem

In-Their-CupsWell, I know what I’m doing today: waiting around watching my mailbox, sidewalk, and street for the postal person who today is supposedly delivering to me the new book of poems by Ed Skoog, called Travelers Leaving for the City. At least, I was told it would arrive today, when I ordered it. Hopefully you are doing the same thing – unless you’re lucky enough that your copy has already been delivered? – but if you aren’t, then for gosh sakes make your life better by ordering now. If, by some strange and cruel twist of fate, you aren’t already acquainted with Skoog (feels that should be all-capped, SKOOG, but I’m resisting. Or not), then let me tell you, not only is he a genius poet and writer, but also a champ banjo player, snappy dresser, fleet-footed dancer, and more, but also one of the swellest bar companions you could ever desire. While I’m waiting to spend many hours devouring his newest, I thought I’d ramp up my synapses by re-reading one of his poems from In Their Cups: An Anthology of Poems About Drinking Places, Drinks, and Drinkers. He has two poems in there – both awesome – as well as a few translations (also awesome), which he can do cause he is, as mentioned, a genius. In the feeling of community, I felt you also might want to read a snatch of Skoog if your copy of the latest hasn’t shown, and so here we are with the below.

 

The Last Saturn Bar Poem

 

Around the art barn, Mike Frolich’s bar-tab

bartered paintings hang the hell that rose with him

from the Gulf of Mexico floor too fast, torturing

blood with air: maniac fish, demon in a diving bell,

and then from cadmium sunset through marsh comes

the boat bearing forward in grand roving the name

O’Neal, our bartender. Theirs are the dreams we enter,

entering the Saturn Bar’s owly heat re-tooled for unlovely

loss, the rattled corner leaning away from Chartreuse, neat,

and when I’m able to dream jukebox damaged warbling,

a Saturn-like-thing opens within me, but this is the last

Saturn Bar poem–I’ll try, I’ll try–to stop singing

shadows of St. Claude and Clouet on security camera

pavement grays we keep talking about with increasing

reluctance, ready to move on to fresh bewilderments,

spiraling neon, neon that lights up my nameless shot.

 

–The Last Saturn Bar Poem, Ed Skoog

June 14, 2013

Ed Skoog and the Ellipse Cocktail

It’s a proud day in Spiked Punch land – our pal Ed Skoog has a new book out and ready for reading. It’s his latest poetry collection (he is a poetic genius, as well as being a dandy drink maker, bonny bar companion, general good egg, and cute) and it’s called Rough Day, and you should get it today! Then, after getting it, come back and watch Ed make his world famous Ellipse in the below Cocktail to Cocktail Hour episode, which we’re resurfacing from way back in season 2 in honor of his new book.

October 16, 2012

Cocktail to Cocktail Hour V2: Episode 6, The Rusty Nail

Well, it’s been an interesting season for the Cocktail to Cocktail Hour (in the “may you live in interesting times” fashion). With my much-publicized addiction to velvet jackets becoming public, with director, cameraman, writer, and producer Dr. Gonzo’s less-publicized adventures “down south,” and with us drinking away our sponsorship dollars, the year has spun past. And now here we are, the last episode. But what an episode it is, as we solve one of the most-debated cocktail mysteries: where did The Rusty Nail come from and why isn’t it consumed as much today as in 1952? To help us, we have a very special guest, E.P. Gooks* (or, Goose. It gets confusing), a first-rate historian who we did not pay to come on the show. Watch and learn dear ones, and be ready for the next season—it’s gonna be a doozy.**

* Any resemblance to the long-time Cocktail to Cocktail Hour favorite poet Ed Skoog is purely coincidental. All academics look alike.

**This is no way means we’re legally obligated to have another season, much less a doozy season.

October 2, 2012

Cocktail to Cocktail Hour V2: Episode 5, Drowsy Librarian and Ed Skoog

Well, friends, it’s been a bit of a break for the favorite cocktail-making series in the history of cocktail-making series (at least that’s what the Nielsen Company told me), the Cocktail to Cocktail Hour. I can’t say much about the break, only that the world-renowned series director and cameraman and producer of said serier is no longer allowed in Tijuana. But, but, but we’re back! And back in genius fashion as poet Ed Skoog is back in the studio, making a variation on his Dark Spirits’ favorite the Drowsy Chaperone, a new drink called the Drowsy Librarian. He also talks about Grandparents Day, Brazilians, and candy. Watch now!

December 12, 2011

Cocktail to Cocktail Hour V2, Episode One, Ellipse Cocktail and Ed Skoog

Ba, baa, baaa, ba bum! That’s right cocktail lovers, the moment you’ve dreamed about since the finale of the last season of the Cocktail to Cocktail Hour dripped to a close is here–the new C2C season is now beginning (sorry for the wait. Our cameraman had some problems in a Central American lock up. But all’s well now). And what a beginning it is, friends, one that will be sung about in bars from here to Poughkeepsie. We have a very special lit’rary guest for this first episode, none other than poet and drink-maker and shot-putter extraordinaire, Ed Skoog, making his soon-to-be-renowned cocktail (a cocktail featured in Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz) the Ellipse. I’d say more, but I don’t want to spoil the fun, and the episode is a tad lengthy, so, with no further palaver, let the new season begin.

September 26, 2011

What I’m Drinking: Ed Skoog’s Ellipse

Hello and happy Monday! It’s not only now less than two weeks before the below-mentioned Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz Rob Roy release event, but today is also the birthday of Mr. Ed Skoog, a poet and cocktail aficionado of the first ranking, whose poems highlight the compilation of drinking verse called In Their Cups, and whose past spirited creations have been in Dark Spirits, that compendium of darkly-natured drinks. Those two occurrences (Mr. Skoog’s birthday and upcoming GBVF party) make this the absolutely perfect day to drink an Ellipse. Why? Cause it’s a drink created by Skoog that’s featured in Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz. A delicious and creative drink, I may say, also, though you should expect that from Mr. Skoog. And I expect you to wish him happy fortieth today, if you happen to see him. And buy him a drink why dontcha?

 

1 teaspoon fresh marjoram leaves

Ice cubes

2 ounces Strega

Chilled Prosecco

Fresh marjoram sprig, for garnish

 

1. Add the marjoram to a cocktail shaker. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, muddle gently.

 

2. Fill the cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the Strega. Shake well.

 

3. Strain (preferably with a fine-mesh strainer) into a flute glass. Top with Prosecco, almost to the rim, and garnish with the marjoram.

January 3, 2011

Start Your Year Right with Drinking Poets

Hello hello, and sorry for the extended holiday break from blog posts. But at least I left you with the first two episodes of the new season of the Cocktail to Cocktail Hour (still four more new episodes left—can you believe it!). And, I’m back to help you start your New Year right, with a link to a blog post on the PBS blog The Daily Need, a post which features videos from four (that’s right, four) of the poets who have poems in In Their Cups: An Anthology of Poems about Drinking Places, Drinks, and Drinkers. Each poet is reading one of the poems they have in the book while sipping on a favorite drink. I can’t think of any way to kick start a cocktail-a-rific and poetic year than by watching the videos (repeatedly, to ensure the year is really all that and then some). The post includes videos featuring amazing writers (and charming drinking companions) Ed Skoog, Amy Fleury, Emily Bedard, and also a video with me (wearing a boss coat, I have to admit). So what are you waiting for? Get your year started right by heading to the Daily Need  now.

September 24, 2010

In Their Cups Week: Ed Skoog, The Last Saturn Bar Poem

For the last poem in In Their Cups week 2010 (celebrating the release and release party this Sunday for In Their Cups and the drinking poems contained therein, as if you didn’t know), I wanted to highlight one of the two poems in book by Ed Skoog (I should mention though, that he also has translations in the book from three languages–you’ll have to look to find out which languages). Without Ed, In Their Cups would have been called “Cups with Holes” and been awfully leaky, cause he not only let me put poems and translations of his own in the book, but helped me track down more poems that made the cut and are in the book, gave advice on ordering of poems and sections, drank a lot with me during the putting together of the book, and was generally helpful in every way you can think of plus a few more you’d forgotten.

 

 If you don’t know already, Ed is one of the best poets anywhere alive today–buy his book Mister Skylight and you will be changed–but is also a drink maker of some renown, a drink consumer of much renown, and a sweet banjo player to boot who can sing the high lonesome like few others (even after a few–let’s say 5-to-10–shots). If you ever are going into a bar for the long haul (which I’m guessing you will be, probably soon), bring him along. Or at least bring this poem of his about New Orleans’ Saturn Bar, a truly divine dive, along with you as an Ed sub.

 

The Last Saturn Bar Poem

 

Around the art barn, Mike Frolich’s bar-tab

bartered paintings hang the hell that rose with him

from the Gulf of Mexico floor too fast, torturing

blood with air: maniac fish, demon in a diving bell,

and then from cadmium sunset through marsh comes

the boat bearing forward in grand roving the name

O’Neal, our bartender. Theirs are the dreams we enter,

entering the Saturn Bar’s owly heat re-tooled for unlovely

loss, the rattled corner leaning away from Chartreuse, neat,

and when I’m able to dream jukebox damaged warbling,

a Saturn-like-thing opens within me, but this is the last

Saturn Bar poem–I’ll try, I’ll try–to stop singing

shadows of St. Claude and Clouet on security camera

pavement grays we keep talking about with increasing

reluctance, ready to move on to fresh bewilderments,

spiraling neon, neon that lights up my nameless shot.

 

The Last Saturn Bar Poem, Ed Skoog

Share '' on Delicious Share '' on Digg Share '' on Facebook Share '' on Google+ Share '' on LinkedIn Share '' on Pinterest Share '' on reddit Share '' on StumbleUpon Share '' on Twitter Share '' on Add to Bookmarks Share '' on Email Share '' on Print Friendly

Rathbun on Film