Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kevin Ridgeway- Two Poems

Just Another Day in Sunny L.A.

the ghetto birds hover overhead
cops screaming into bullhorns
about missing children and armed men
turn on the television and it’s a
twenty-four hour loop of car chases
ending violently, the pursued covered
in blood; the neighbors are blasting the
Eagles, which, along with the orange
clouds parting before the sun is an
ominous sign of the pending

you drink your two tall boys
and crush them, walk out into
the street where the fire hydrant
has exploded, water cleansing
a gang of half-dressed Mexican
kids while their parents scream
and laugh and an ice cream truck
gets pulled over, the driver caught
with a pound of meth in the back
alongside the frozen candied

is nothing sacred, no nothing
is, there’s a naked drunk man right now
singing “Hotel California” and washing
off his privates in broad daylight, the
mouths of the children are agape
as their parents hide their eyes


Lee was legally blind,
resembled R. Crumb,
and had a pair of
glasses with a built-in
magnifying glass
that made one eye
look ten times bigger
than the other

we were retail
counter jockeys
and lee didn’t
seem to mind
when I stole
candy and soda
because he couldn’t
see me doing it

he had a dry wit
and insisted on
carrying out
the trash so
he could get
a bonus smoke
and he was a sight
walking down
main street
in his candy red
smock and
long wooden
headed home
for the day
to his native
obsessed wife
who cooked
him his favorite
dish, Hungarian

Lee didn’t cuss;
didn’t drink;
and never had
a bad thing
to say to anyone

He’s still probably
the nicest guy
I ever knew;
toward the end
of my tenure at
the store I thought
twice about lifting
packs of cigarettes
out of guilt
regarding his
true decency
and instead chatted
Lee up about his
beloved Archie
comics and what
gems he caught in
his dreamcatcher
the night before or
his winnings
at weekly bingo
at the vfw,
and his mustache
grooming tips
all discussed while
I borrowed five bucks
from the register
for a night of sin
on the town
when he was
looking at me
with his bad

BIO:  Kevin Ridgeway resides in Southern California with his girlfriend and their crazed cats.  His work can be found in many places in print and online.  His latest chapbook of poetry, All the Rage, is forthcoming from Electric Windmill Books, spring 2013.  

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