Down at Old Sharpie’s Pool Hall

Old Sharpie's Pool hall

Old Sharpie’s Pool hall







Down at Old Sharpie’s

On a green velvet cloth table rubbed

with cue faded blue dust, blown off

the tips of little square cubes held

between finger tips, able and

yearning to aim true.


I bought my first cue from a local

pawnshop when money was tight,

it was stained blood red from a fight

one night when it came crashing

down on the head of a hustler, who

lost the fight for his life, outside

Sharpie’s pool hall.


Hanging out at Sharpie’s place

where smoky talk and coca cola

sat beside me, I leaned over a

table to take my shot with an eagle

sharp eye scoping down my prized

cue, twisting in my hands.


Laying my fag on the polished edge,

where scorched and burned mahogany

shone of better days, and smoky rings

whiffed up to a ceiling where cheering

cockroaches hung out to play and

watch a boy line up his first shot of the day.


I knew the cheap tricks, and smack talk,

to pick a pocket clean and leave them

scratching and wondering how this kid

dropped his balls so clean.


Hustling like a pro, never getting enough

of cutting a ball with a new technique,

moving straight as an arrow gliding for

the kill I’d watch that ball rolling so

well go “whoosh” as it fell into a web

laced leather pocket embracing it so.


Watching broken men with toothless

old grins, nicotine finger tips clutching

their butts and swigging their gin, from

brown paper bags, playing craps under

wobbly legged tucked away tables,

when a boy burst in and yelled Mama

is alone and wants you at home, to one

of the gin filled men.


Snooker was my game and I took aim

to leave a school to lay some odds

against myself, and hope that I could

make a mark far beyond the dark and

dingy smoke filled hall where shots

were heard and excitement kept

calling me down to Old Sharpie’s pool hall.

© Copyright Vincent Moore. All Rights Reserved

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