starts from a postcard
from a place that no longer exists
(found in a book, never finished);
the book; Boccaccio's "Decameron,"
the postcard; "A View of Mainstreet, Studley, KS,
Boccaccio; whereabouts unknown,
Studley, KS; ninety years beneath a lake.
will have cold pizza
and orange juice for breakfast,
followed by three steep cups
of gritty black coffee
while sifting through
John Lee hooker's blues,
the 1952 Farmer's Almanac,
and the local classifieds
for something new to chew on,
something to stoke the Languishing Ember Of Hope,
something to clip out and keep
in its musty scrapbook of a brain,
something to fly on the end of a string
in the middle of a summer thunderstorm.
This poem will slowly begin
to find strange names
and phone numbers in its pockets,
coffee stains in its margins,
wrinkles in its face
in its logic.
will be wadded up
and banished from the court,
mauled by a one-eyed, three-legged tom-cat
named Lucky Ned,
rescued, reconstructed and rehabilitated,
then put back in the running
with a new lease on life.
Later, upon closer examination,
It will be discovered
to have developed night-vision
and a web-site with no domain.
will break its chain
and jump the fence
to wander freely
through the dark, haunted forests
of young girl's dreams.
will pay fines for pissing
on the Washington Monument,
Grants Tomb, The Alamo,
The George Brett Super Highway
and The Ronald Reagen Memorial something-or-other.
will do time for attempting to bribe
public officials and
go joyriding in a '62 purple Impala,
returning it unharmed at dawn.
will have itself forwarded
to the Great Unknown,
be found in a bottle
on the shore of Galapagos
and ride-out the rest of the 21st century
folded up in the inside left breast pocket
of Joe Bannano’s overcoat.
This poem will saturate the matrix
and circle the globe,
Then, when it's used up
all its privileges and favors,
made too many of the wrong enemies,
burned too many bridges
and racked up way too much debt,
It will suddenly erupt
into an unfathomable mushroom cloud
of chain letters, computer viruses
and nagging late-night suspicions,
leaving the world
More or less.
-Jason Ryberg, 2008