Thursday, August 19, 2010


This poem
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.

This poem

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,

Lowrider Magazine

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

and stress-fractures

in its logic.

This poem

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.

This poem

will break its chain

and jump the fence

to wander freely

through the dark, haunted forests

of young girl's dreams.

This poem

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.

This poem

will do time for attempting to bribe

public officials and

go joyriding in a '62 purple Impala,

returning it unharmed at dawn.

This poem

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,

seemingly unnoticed.

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

radically altered,


More or less.

-Jason Ryberg, 2008

1 comment:

  1. This poem will be not be televised, brother