Monday, July 12, 2010


Right here, where K-10 crosses Kill Creek,

A single purple iris pushes its way up

Through a jagged crack in the hot tarmac.

And here, on the corner

Of Prudence and Hope, a telephone pole

begins to shoot sparks and smoke.

And here, on this rickety bridge,

Where Big Earl Corby was, reportedly, last seen

(Pissing over the side, and, never heard from again),

A small gold statue appears some nights

when the planets are properly aligned

and the moon is just right.

And here, at the top of the rise,

by the side of Big Whiskey road,

a sky-blue Packard Slumps atop an alter

made of planks and fence-posts;

bees in its belly, mice in the muffler,

an offering of bottle-caps and crushed beer cans
splayed out on the ground,

a radiant corona of monarchs,

emporers and swallowtails.

And here, in the middle

of a dried-up river bed,

beneath an over-hanging tree

(and its lone bird’s nest), a rowboat rests

on its meandering path through time,

half-steeped in the cracked and sun-baked mud;

a cluster of cattails stabbing up

through the floorboards, out into the world.

And here, in an old cigar box,

found in the cellar Of an abandoned farm-house-

1 Zippo lighter (with Union Pacific logo),

1 cracked compass, 1 Swiss Army Knife,

2 carved wooden dolls ( a boy and a girl),

1 skull ring, 5 smoke bombs, 3 pocket watches

and a pack of (marked) playing cards

with girls on the backs.

And here, just a few feet beneath

the foundation Of an old country church

(cut from sandstone, and, a little shale

and now nothing more than a stop-over for squatters);
the long-buried bones

of some pre-cursive cousin of the Blue whale,

like lost, forgotten beacons

still beeping out, across the compacted layers

of earth and time, to be received

by those who happen to sleep there

(from time to time),

their ancient dreams of the ocean.

-Jason Ryberg, 2004

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