of a naughty Halloween angel.
It’s the hot, boozy breath of Kansas;
early evening, late July.
It’s flashing red lights waiting for us at the end
of the underground Chunnel Of Lust.
It’s the compounding absence that so often
facilitates the eye’s reckless wandering,
the drunken sleep of reason
breeding monstrous nightmares
and wicked hangovers of feeling,
the darkness of the deep
Missouri backwoods after sundown
and cellars in abandoned houses
on the edge of town.
It’s that high-test grade of silence
that deadens whatever meaningful
thought and speech that might
feasibly arise between us.
It’s the fabled philosopher’s stone in the soup.
It’s bones hauled up from the bottom of a well.
It’s snow in the desert (like you would not believe).
We’re talking about kickin’ the front door in.
We’re talking about takin’ the back door out.
We’re talking a little body and blood of the Lord, baby.
We’re talking dreams that sparkle and shine
like a tinfoil sculpture or a Roosevelt dime,
like the Czar’s crown jewels,
scattered and sewn
out into the backyard
late one night,
so they might take root
and grow into whatever it is
they were meant to be.
We’re talking about that half-empty glass
of water you brought me
when you know I asked
About Jason Ryberg:
Jason Ryberg is the author of twelve books of poetry,
six screenplays, a few short stories, a box full of folders,
notebooks and scraps of paper that could one day be
(loosely) construed as a novel, and, a couple of angry
letters to various magazine and newspaper editors.
He is currently an artist-in-residence at both
The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s
and the Osage Arts Community, and is an editor
and designer at Spartan Books. His latest collections of poems
are Zeus-X-Mechanica (Spartan Press, 2017)
and A Secret History of the Nighttime World (39 West Press, 2017).
He lives part-time in Kansas City with a rooster named Little Red
and a billygoat named Giuseppe and part-time somewhere
in the Ozarks, near the Gasconade River, where there are also
many strange and wonderful woodland critters.