Drinking Game by Kasper Hartman

Our friend and aspiring poet Kasper Hartman gave a reading recently at a Montreal pub. Kasper’s readings are always interesting. He insists on reciting his poems from memory while fixing the audience with an intense and unnerving glare. We asked how the reading went.

I popped my P’s, but other than that I think it went well. My new drinking game poem was a resounding hit. Here’s a recap:

Kasper takes the stage after a warm introduction. He looks nervous, drunk, grips a beer in one hand and takes hold of the mic in the other.

“Does everyone have a beer?” he asks. “You’re all going to need beers for this…”

He waits stubbornly while someone orders a beer.

After about forty seconds of awkward silence, he begins:

“Drinking Game.”

“Never have I ever cursed the goddamn weather.”

He drinks. People in the audience drink too. Someone in the back says, “This could get expensive.”

“Never have I ever kissed who I shouldn’t have,

wanted who I couldn’t have,

nor slept where I wouldn’t have had the night not grown so dim”.

He drinks. A few people think about it, then drink as well.

“Never have I ever been a bit too clever for my own damn good.”

He drinks a lot.

“When we were schoolboys, we tried many different things – the times we hunted kittens, or tested cardboard wings – but never did I ever let a boy named Trevor take his knife and sever a pimple from my cheek.”

Kasper pauses, then drinks. The audience laughs.

“Never did it bleed all week.”

He drinks, they laugh, and he sets up for the big Dostoevskian finale:

“Never has it been easier to mask than confess,

to begin but then digress,

to stand up and say "I am guilty!”

only when there is proof

and nothing less.“

Kasper drains his beer, kicks the mic off the stage, and walks out into the cold, rainy night.