. Who’s the Villain Now? My poems drip with vitriol and gall,Each stanza driving home a heartfelt curse—A side-effect of drinking alcohol Incessantly. I lack the wherewithalTo temper my intemperate temper; worse,My poems drip with vitriol and gall Since I’ve become an angry man in thrallTo stiffer drinks and grudges I still nurse.A side-effect of drinking alcohol, Besides attunement to the Muse’s call,Is certain transportation on a hearse.My poems drip with vitriol and gall, But that’s to be expected. After all,What poet would be pleased to deem his verseA side-effect of drinking alcohol? God knows, I should be quaffing GeritolAnd pinching pennies from my dwindling purse.My poems drip with vitriol and gall,A side-effect of drinking alcohol. First published in Lucid Rhythms (2009) . . In the Post-Antidepressant Era I choose to live because I like the painof knowing I’ve endured another loss,a state of mind not easy to explain to people who believe there’s much to gainfrom life. It’s not as though I bear a cross:I choose to live because I like the pain that comes from watching dreams go down the drain,a most effective nostrum for a cos-tive state of mind. Not easy to explain to those who think I’m more or less insaneare reasons why I never try to glossmy choice to live. Because I like the pain, I’m partial to the days of endless rainwhen rolling stones are first to gather moss,a state of mind not easy to explain. As though to highlight portions of my brainresembling over-processed applesauce,I choose to live because I like the pain,a state of mind not easy to explain. First published in Verse Wisconsin (2010) . . Bender When things get ugly, someone has to payA price to keep the world from caving in.It’s just another ordinary day, And if your lucky barstool starts to sway,You need to add some olives to the gin.When things get ugly, someone has to pay For all the drinks. You would’ve anyway,Despite the pleading from your next of kin—It’s just. Another ordinary day Goes by, and once again desires betrayIntentions: Nothing can compete with sinWhen things get ugly. Someone has to pay The piper; you believe you can delayForever, charming loan sharks with a grin.It’s just another ordinary day, And everything, you’re sure, is A-O.K.Where others quit, you’re ready to begin,And things get ugly. Someone has to pay.It’s just another ordinary day. First published in Tilt-a-Whirl (2010) . . C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden. Hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Australia and India. His collection, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder was published in 2013 by White Violet Press.