Gene Moutoux's Poetry

Casey at the Cue

In Dodge the men were gathered for a game like none before,

And all had checked frugality with firearms at the door.

They’d placed big bucks on Casey Hanks, of Pool Hall Number Two,

But none had bet on Bobo Brown, from a rat hole in Larue.

The players seemed incongruous: magnanimous their hero,

Insipid, maladroit the other—in short, a great big zero.

Now Casey was the local shark, who’d never been defeated,

They’d never even heard of Brown, who struck them as conceited.


Well, Bobo won the first game and Casey took the second;

Then Bobo hit some magic shots, on which no one had reckoned,

And left the twelve-ball only (the groans were heard in heaven),

While Casey lacked the two-ball, the four, the five, the seven.

Now Bobo blew his next shot, a two-railed spontaneity,

Prolonging the remaining pool balls’ heterogeneity.

Calmly Casey chalked his cue, approached the balls with levity,

Forgetting that a missed shot now could cost him his longevity.


The cue ball struck with confidence, the two-ball took a dive.

Then disappeared as easily the seven, four, and five.

This meant if Casey holed the eight, the championship was his.

Although he knew the shot was tough, he jocosely said, "Gee whiz."

Though no one overlooked the placement, eight behind the twelve,

The men felt in their hearts this was a ball he’d surely shelve.

Our hero bold surveyed the scene with spunk like young Jack Horner,

And pointing with his cue, he said, "Eight-ball in the corner."


O somewhere hearts are happy, and somewhere eyes are bright,

But not in Pool Hall Number Two, for Casey lost that night.

He tried a shot spectacular, three cushions, distance wide;

Instead of going in the corner, the ball went in the side.

All hastened to their firearms (back then the thing to do),

And would have shot poor Bobo down, and maybe Casey, too.

But at that very anxious time there came from Kansas City

An officer in blue, who said ... well, here’s the nitty-gritty:


"This shootin’s poorly timed, you all. What’s more it’s ignominious

‘Cause Casey Hanks and Bobo Brown are brothers, consanguineous."

You’ve never seen the likes of it, the huggin’ and the cryin’,

And when you saw them face to face, there could be no denyin’,

I mean, that they were brothers; what could be more propitious?

The captain said, "All bets are off"; what could be more judicious?

Well, Bobo moved to Casey’s place, and both men married wives,

And taught their kids the game of pool, lived long and happy lives.

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