Saturday Service at the Church of ING

by Nick Anthony

Dank air, thick and heavy
As gaseous molasses,
lazily ferments in this amber rusted barrel
Of soulful blues and bad tobacco.

Faithful, old drunks slowly sway,
Inebriated from breathing kill-devil air.
They sing wailing gospels of woe
In harmony with Lucille on the record player.

Faded brown bed sheets hang from the ceiling,
Covering the exposed electric wiring
And water pipes—already covered by mold.
They billow up like brown dust clouds
Floating over a bustling bazaar
In a back alley of Baghdad.

As the night falls upon the world outside,
Youthful parishioners disrupt the reverence
With a breath of fresh and lively air.
They are giddy to begin the rites
Of Bacchic worship this Saturday evening.

These half-hearted, holiday worshippers
Take their place among the devoted regulars,
Who’ve prayed from bar stool pews,
Solemnly consuming a eucharist
Of almighty alcohol and mixed nuts,
Confessing their sins to the barman priests,
All while searching for a salvation I see
In the emptiness of their glazed eyes
And the sadness lurking beneath each bingeing high.
.


ING dsc02156_mini-580x326is a rock bar near Sanjo station in Kyoto, Japan. It is usually populated with a good mix of Japanese and foreigners, most of whom are faithful patrons of the small establishment. Somewhat hidden on the second floor of an unassuming building, ING is a diamond waiting to be found by those looking for down-to-earth authenticity in the overly commercialized party district of Kyoto. This piece was written on a lonely evening when I found myself at the bar quite a bit earlier than usual. The deep conversations, steady stream of B.B. King, and (of course) flow of booze almost convinced me to become a more serious convert to Bacchus.

If you enjoyed this post, please read more at Rafiki’s Nikki.

If you want to know more about ING or the night life in Sanjo, let me know with a comment!

Advertisements

If you enjoyed the poem. please leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: