Acetaldehyde Dehydrogenase Deficiency

by Nick Anthony

Corralled in the narrow alley
An incalculable mass of humanity
Drunkenly bumbles and stumbles along,
Skipping in hiccuping rhythm,
Belting (and belching) drinking songs,
With the flow of the fleshy river.

Happily chatting and gaily laughing
While taking long swigs in passing,
Thousands of bright red faces
Illuminate even the smallest places,
Packed as tight as a can of red-pepper sardines
So that even atoms can’t squeeze between.

As this turbulent Red Sea roils about
My comrades and I are filled with doubt
That our pilgrimage is nothing but foolery
And we may never reach our favorite brewery.
But with a hearty beer in my hand
I take the first step toward the promised land.
Lest I and my crew meet the fate of Odysseus,
I forge forth, like a fucking-drunk, singing this ode to Moses.


Thoughts at the Kyoto Craft Beer festival last weekend. For those of you who don’t know, this is a jesting reference to Asian flush: an enzyme deficiency that effects the digestion of alcohol.

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