My Father Is a Retired Magician(for ifa, p.t., & bisa)
my father is a retired magician
which accounts for my irregular behavior
everythin comes outta magic hats
or bottles wit no bottoms & parakeets
are as easy to get as a couple a rabbits
or 3 fifty cent pieces/ 1958
my daddy retired from magic & took
up another trade cuz this friend of mine
from the 3rd grade asked to be made white
on the spot
what cd any self-respectin colored american magician
do wit such a outlandish request/ cept
put all them razzamatazz hocus pocus zippity-do-dah
thingamajigs away cuz
colored chirren believin in magic
waz becomin politically dangerous for the race
& waznt nobody gonna be made white
on the spot just
from a clap of my daddy's hands
& the reason i'm so peculiar's
cuz i been studyin up on my daddy's technique
& everythin i do is magic these days
& it's very colored
very now you see it/ now you
dont mess wit me
i come from a family of retired
sorcerers/ active houngans & pennyante fortune tellers
wit 41 million spirits critturs & celestial bodies
on our side
i'll listen to yr problems
help wit yr career yr lover yr wanderin spouse
make yr grandma's stay in heaven more gratifyin
ease yr mother thru menopause & show yr son
how to clean his room
YES YES YES 3 wishes is all you get
scarlet ribbons for yr hair
benwa balls via hong kong
a miniature of machu picchu
all things are possible
but aint no colored magician in her right mind
gonna make you white
this is blk magic
you lookin at
& i'm fixin you up good/ fixin you up good n colored
& you gonna be colored all yr life
& you gonna love it/ bein colored/ all yr life/ colored & love it
love it/ bein colored/
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Missed ChancesIn the city of missed chances, the streetlights
always flicker, the second hand clothing shops
stay open all night and used furniture stores
employ famous greeters. This is where you
are sent after that moment of hesitation.
You were too slow to act, too afraid to jump,
too shy or uncertain to speak up. Do you recall
the moment? Your finger was raised, your mouth
open, and then, strangely, silence. Now you walk
past men and women wrapped in the memory
of the speeches they should have uttered-
Over my dead body. Sure, I'd be happy with
ten thousand. If you walk out, don't come back-
past dogs practicing faster bites, cowboys
with faster draws, where even the cockroach
knows that next time he'll jump to the left.
You were simply going to say, Don't go, or words
to that effect-Don't go, don't leave, don't walk
out of my life. Nothing fancy, nothing to stutter
about. Now you're shouting it every ten seconds.
In the city of missed chances, it is always just past
sunset and the freeways are jammed with people
driving to homes they regret ever choosing,
where wives or helpmates have burned the dinner,
where the TV's blown a fuse and even the dog,
tied to a post in the backyard, feels confused,
uncertain, and makes tentative barks at the moon.
How easy to say it-Don't go, don't leave, don't
disappear. Now you've said it a million times.
You even stroll over to the Never-Too-Late
Tattoo Parlor and have it burned into the back
of your hand, right after the guy who had
Don't shoot, Madge, printed big on his forehead.
Then you go town to the park, where you discover
a crowd of losers, your partners in hesitation,
standing nose to nose with the bronze statues
repeating the phrases engraved on their hearts-
Let me kiss you. Don't hit me. I love you-
while the moon pretends to take it all in.
Let's get this straight once and for all:
is that a face up there or is it a rabbit, and if
it's a face, then why does it hold itself back,
why doesn't it take control and say, Who made
this mess, who's responsible? But this is no time
for rebellion, you must line up with the others,
then really start to holler, Don't go, don't go-
like a hammer sinking chains into concrete,
like doors slamming and locking one after another,
like a heart beats when it's scared half to death.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
GLENN BECK/ILLUMINATI/SCIENTOLOGY/GLENN BECK/FATHER A FORMER PSY-OPS AGENT/OPUS-DEI/MOTHER'S “MYSTERIOUS DEATH”/GLENN BECK/SATANIC BLOOD ORGY IN BASEMENT OF FAMILY BUSINESS/OVERTHROW OF U.S.GOVERNMENT/ ILLUMINATI/ BOHEMIAN GROVE/GLENN BECK/BUILDING 7/SAIPAN SEX SLAVE CAMP/COCAINE ENEMA /GLENN BECK/ MEGA CHURCH/MONSTROUS GODCOCK/MK-ULTRA/FOX NEWS/JIM JONES /CANNIBAL SPERM/ GLENN BECK/RAPE, RAPE, MURDER, ARSON AND RAPE / MORMONS /INNER CIRCLE/PLOT AGAINST THE POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS/DRUGS/BAPHOMET/BLOOD SACRIFICE/ TRI- LATERAL COMMISSION/GLENN BECK/MIND-CONTROL/ FATHER A FORMER PSY-OPS AGENT/OPUS-DEI/MOTHER'S MYSTERIOUS DEATH/GLENN BECK/SATANIC BLOOD ORGY/OVERTHROW OF U.S.GOVERNMENT/ ILLUMINATI/BOHEMIAN GROVE/GLENN BECK/ BUILDING 7/SAIPAN SEX SLAVE CAMP/DENIAL OF 1990 RAPE AND MURDER /DRUGS/ ELDERS OF ZION OBSESSION/MORMON CHILD PORN/GLENN BECK/SECRET COMMUNIST/ FOX NEWS/JIM JONES/CANNIBAL SPERM/ GLENN BECK/RAPE, RAPE, MURDER, ARSON AND RAPE / MORMONS/INNER CIRCLE/PLOT AGAINST THE POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS/DRUGS /BAPHOMET/BLOOD SACRIFICE/ TRI-LATERAL COMMISSION/GLENN BECK/SECRET PLOT TO DESTROY AMERICA/PUPPET OFGEORGE SOROS/GLENN BECK /BLACK HELICOPTERS /FATHER’S POSSIBLE INVOLVEMENT WITH CATTLE MUTILATIONS /UFO’S/ ILLUMINATI/ BOHEMIAN GROVE /GLENN BECK/ BUILDING 7/SAIPAN SEX SLAVE CAMP/COCAINE ENEMA PARTY/GLENN BECK /MEGACHURCH SEX SCANDAL COVER-UP/MONSTROUS GODCOCK/ MK-ULTRA/FOX NEWS/JIM JONES/CANNIBAL SPERM/ GLENN BECK/RAPE, RAPE, MURDER, ARSON AND RAPE /GLENN BECK /ILLUMINATI /SCIENTOLOGY /GLENN BECK/FATHER A FORMER PSY-OPS AGENT/ OPUS-DEI/MOTHER'S “MYSTERIOUS DEATH”/GLENN BECK/ SATANIC BLOOD ORGY/ OVERTHROW OF AMERICA/ HATRED OF U.S.GOVERNMENT / ILLUMINATI/ BOHEMIAN GROVE/GLENN BECK /CONSPIRACY/IN LEAGUE WITH SOROS/ BLOOD SACRIFICE /TRI-LATERAL COMMISSION /GLENN BECK/ SECRET PLOT TO DESTROY AMERICA/PUPPET OF GEORGE SOROS/GLENN BECK/BLACK WATER “BUDDIES”/BLACK HELICOPTERS /CATTLE MUTILATIONS/UFO’S/ILLUMINATI/BOHEMIAN GROVE/”GLENN BECK DID COCAINE IN MY BATHROOM”/FRONT FOR COMMUNIST BILLIONAIRE/FATHER WORKING FOR COVERT ONE WORLD SHADOW GOVERNMENT /SECRET CONSERVATIVE ELITE CONTROLLING MEDIA /GLENN BECK/ PHONY LIBERAL MEDIA/PLOT AGAINST THE POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS /DRUGS/ BAPHOMET /BLOOD SACRIFICE /TRI-LATERAL COMMISSION/GLENN BECK/ MIND-CONTROL/ FATHER A FORMER PSY-OPS AGENT/ OPUS- DEI/MOTHER'S “MYSTERIOUS DEATH”/GLENN BECK /”SATANIC BLOOD ORGY”/ OVER THROW OF U.S.GOVERNMENT /WORLD BANK/GLENN BECK /”PHOTOS HE DOESN’T WANT YOU TO SEE”/FATHER’S HISTORY WITH MK-ULTRA/FOX NEWS/JIM JONES/ CANNIBAL SPERM/ GLENN BECK/RAPE, RAPE, MURDER, ARSON AND RAPE /GLENN BECK /ILLUMINATI /SCIENTOLOGY/GLENN BECK/FATHER A FORMER PSY-OPS AGENT/ OPUS-DEI/MOTHER'S “MYSTERIOUS DEATH” WON’T ANSWER QUESTIONS/GLENN BECK/PROSTITUTES/GAMBLING ADDICTION/REFUSAL TO REVEAL FINANCIAL BACKERS FOR RALLY/ MEGACHURCH SEX SCANDAL COVER-UP/ MONSTROUS GAY GODCOCK RELIGION/ MK-ULTRA AND BECK, SR. / FOX NEWS CONSPIRACY/JIM JONES AND GLENN BECK’S FATHER/HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED/ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES GLENN BECK GO “SOMETHING-SOMETHING”
Friday, November 19, 2010
It would appear to be
either a rundown vaudevillian/
burlesque theater, Poughkeepsie
or Buffalo, NY, circa 19-twenty-something,
or maybe an old, black and white,
“recorded live before a studio
audience” style television program;
“Days Of Our Lives,” and
German expressionist cinema
consisting almost entirely of various
stock caricatures and other tragi-comic
grotesqueries of the perverse
simultaneously hurling out hyper-dramatic
dialogue to no one in particular.
They orate, pontificate
and gesticulate, magnificently,
without ever seeming to be aware
of each other’s existence.
One of them is dressed as a World War I
Prussian Military commander, complete with
tall, shiny boots, walrussy handle bar
and singularly spiked helmet.
Another is, most likely, supposed to be
somebody’s booga-booga idea of an ancient
tribal shaman or witchdoctor.
Still another, wearing a bra and panties
and a thin silk cord running from his neck to the heel
of the high-heel shoe on his only remaining foot,
masturbates, dreamily, into the long shadow
of his nightly near-death excursion.
A chorus of mutts and street urchins
waits, attentively, for its cue (or a scrap
of food to fight over, perhaps).
And way in the back,
in the darkest and cheapest of cheap seats,
the lone, cigar smoking audience member
smacks out a slow and clamorous
-Jason Ryberg, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
|Moreover, the Moon ---|
Face of the skies
Monday, November 8, 2010
No sooner had I lowered myself
down into that dark well
of ghost echos and distant whale squeak
than I was the poor boy of every
sad blues and honky-tonk song,
thumb out, on the Lost Highway
and a long, long way from home,
a lonesome stranger trying to
hitch a ride to ever-stranger lands
(and other Parts Unknown, as well).
I was Hank and Lefty,
Kerouac and Cassidy,
Quixote and Sancho.
I wore the fabled hubcap
diamond-star halo and red shoes
that were the envy of every angel
(and devil alike).
I made mid-night raids
on The Garden of Earthly Delights.
I stole Death’s pale, raggedy horse
and sold it to a traveling gypsy circus.
I directed traffic at the intersection
of Time and Space.
I rode bitch between a mega-church minister
and a street-corner preacher.
I got drunk on nine kinds of hellfire
and nearly died in a duel
over a one-legged ballerina.
If not for the alarm clock
pinching my ear with its
sharp, bony fingers,
I might not have ever
made it back.
-Jason Ryberg, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
I tell you I saw this once—tangle
of typewriters piled up
on a city street like a pyre
waiting to be lit, levers still
half lifted as if trying to hail
a cab. Oh, they were beautiful,
these discarded messengers
of the machine age, their names,
Olivetti, Royal, Underwood, picked out
in gold, and I almost rescued one,
hefting it from its nest of empty
whiskey bottles—Wild Turkey,
they were, flock decimated
by the light of burning midnight
oil, but ghosts, I think, prefer
the company of ghosts, that’s why
we seldom see them, but we hear them,
sometimes, typing away at that life
sentence, bars rising with the press
of fingertips on the keys, unlocking
the words: send help.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
In the beginning a riot of color, burnt umber, magenta,
madder red. Vast expanses of indigo. There was thunder
and the absence of thunder. There was heat, Earth shifting,
hills swelling, ridges rising. Then came the fingerlings,
the frogs, and dark-eyed juncos. Possum and hawk
and fox. There were buffalo, mountain lions. There were
slender legs of spiders and dragonflies. Mosquitoes trapped
on salmon-colored salamanders’ flickering tongues. Black
bears lumbering through the underbrush. Speckled eggs,
beavers, fire ants. Night crawlers wriggling below, crows
cawing above, there was Earth and the fullness thereof.
We forded the river, the one named Euphrates, the highest
mountain, we called it Mount George, the one we crossed
over, Mount Spotswood. We numbered the trout and catfish,
the brooks they swam in. We tracked all species of fowl.
We blazed trails in the forest and left distinguishing marks.
The winnowing down of daylight, that was good. Once
two geese swooped in. He swam up and down the pond
fixing his amber eye on me. She tucked her head beneath
one wing. Stars were our faithful companions, and we drank
to their health, as we did to the King and the rest of the Royal
Family. In this way we cleared the path to today.
It’s hard to think of home without the hawthorn and the scat
of deer and mole. It’s hard to think of fall without the sight
of scurrying squirrels packing nuts into their cheeks, fearing
humans less than winter. It’s hard to think of me without my
hound, my hound, heaven’s staunchest ally. It’s hard to live
on this land without hearing sounds of all sorts of creatures, all
digging out toward light, or burrowing within, breathing deeply
of the darkening night. To love a place is to love where you are,
to know it is beyond compare, the air, the scent, it might as well
be skin, it is to touch, be touched by everything in the surround,
to feel at one yet fully other in this diverse dominion.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
And then there are those
wide-open October nights
way out there on the high seas
of the lower Mid-west,
and nothing but stars stars stars.
And maybe you’ve wandered
away from the fire with a friend or two
and a bottle of some not dissimilar
distillation of heat and radiance (to keep
the Universal Engine turning over, of course),
and Time, that supremely indifferent
retriever and reducer of all things
to their least divisible units
seems to have momentarily halted
in the tracks of its ceaseless stalking
of what we so self-centrically (if not
full-on solipsistically) imagine to be
its sweetest, juiciest prey.
And a Greek chorus of coyotes
is commenting on the days events
from the next county over.
And a truck somewhere out beyond
the horizon blows a long, sorrowful solo.
And our phones and clocks
(those little sycophantic servants
and advisers and grand co-conspirators,
as well, no doubt) have been given
their first night off in who knows how long.
So, if you want to speak to someone,
present company should more than do.
And if, for some reason,
you find you need to know
the Time’s current whereabouts...
well, you’ll have to consult the stars.
-Jason Ryberg, 2010