Saturday, August 14, 2010


For Steve Bridgens

Even after the sun

has long-since gone down,

the raw, kiln-like intensity

of a day like today

(here, in this overgrown cow town

in late July) can still be felt

well into the night.

The sidewalks and driveways

and newly resurfaced streets

continue to throw off enough heat,

all our overgrown yards enough jungle steam

(due to a brief but mean little thunderstorm

this morning that not even

the weatherman had forseen)

that our clankity old window-unit

is forced to shift down a few degrees

into a lower, more determined gear.

Still, something has called us all out here

to the front porch, tonight;

maybe those recent reports of lightning on the horizon?

Constellations of fireflies churning before our eyes?

The tidal pull of a fat, blood-orange of a moon?

Or, just the inevitable madness of tiny rooms?

All we really need to know

(here on this not-so-disagreeable-night

in Kansas City, KS in late July) is

there's an hour of Mingus

coming up on the radio,

a 'fridge full of beer getting colder and colder

and a one-hitter already loaded up for you

and ready to go.

So, even though we all got jobs

that come calling way too early in the morning

and bills and debts that, over time, have become

highly resistant to our attempts at neutralizing them

and despite all the headlines and sound-bites

(detailing the latest home-grown inanity

or gruesome instance of international mayhem)

that appear to be conspiring to reinforce

the near-blasphemous notion that can

so easily lead one to believe otherwise,

from time to time

the universe does provide.

-Jason Ryberg, 2008

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