Friday, October 18, 2013

Ryan Hardgrove- Three Poems

give in, and join the crowd!

I fill up these notebooks
with all these words
but what’s the use?

the sky is blue
and everyone knows it
sometimes it’s grey
and everyone knows that too

deep into the night
saddled at the bar
the autumn crowd
is typically a bit more boisterous
it’s easier to lie to yourself
when the weather is pleasant

a barroom pal
lands the stool next to mine
mumbles something about a dart game
and too many 50 cent tacos
he drops a couple pills
into my cramped pen hand
I toss them into my mouth
without inspecting them
and bite down hard once
before swallowing the bitter shards
with a mouth full of flat beer

after the pills kick in
and enough beer is swallowed
the barroom gets real easy to accept
all the faces seem happy with me
at first they were wary of my pen
and head-down-scribbles
but now they seem to recognize me
as one of their own

they all know it’s no use
all these notebooks full of words
they know just as well as I do

but it’s easy
to look around the barroom
when the windows turn black
with autumn night blankness
and we are all roasting inside
amidst endless golden taps
and warm purring neon’s

it’s easy to forget
about the notebook and the pen

I think I’ll hunt down my barroom pal
for some more of those pills

Friday Night Blues

just north of town
along the Ohio river
my little apartment
rattles in its foundation
as another plane skates
far too low

I’m full and bloated
on 8 dollar pizza
and can’t seem to scrape
enough black sticky residue
out of my old glass pipe
I could call someone
for a real score
but I’m fresh out of cash
      I’ve even exhausted all the nickels and dimes
      the quarters have been gone for days
and the pennies are far too tragic
for spending

the ball of tar is getting close
to something substantial
almost smoke-able
maybe I will get high tonight

another plane blasts
through the window
like a god damn freight train
and irritates my diligent fingers
working ceaselessly
at the meticulous task at hand
one day all those planes
will drop out of the sky
like locust shells

and then maybe
I’ll be able to figure out
what’s really wrong with me

Let the Crickets Sing!

Laying in bed
trying to sleep
as the insects sing
their ancient songs
from crab grass podiums

I begin discerning
the different insects
and one in particular steals my mind
and I let it absorb me
with eyes closed
until it sounds like a blaring car alarm
so I get up
find the switch
find the toilet
lean towards the mirror
steal a blurred glimpse
of flesh and hair
find the fridge
gulp the OJ
like it’s special sleeping serum
as the fridge pours
cold white light
upon my bare chest

but sleep won’t come
     not yet
     and it’s okay
because the rest are sleeping
so I stay awake and wait
     stay separate and gulp OJ
I stare into this
blank black window
and everything is far away
and unconscious of this enormous blankness
and I feel wonderfully isolated
and exceptionally alone
not lonely
but alone
and we are alone
but they all distract themselves
with their social circus

So let the crickets sing tonight!
let them rise together
into a singular beacon of sound
just for me, and nobody else

I’ll rest soon enough
when they awaken
and crowd the streets
with noise and confusion
and awful routines that carve out their

I’ll be safe,
far removed from the carnage
that comes along with everyday obligation

I’ll be safe in bed
avoiding it all

waiting for the crickets
to sing for me
once again

Ryan Hardgrove is a published poet.  His consciousness has grown and meandered like a weed throughout his 27 years crawling upon this rock.  He now lives in a small apartment along the Ohio River, just two miles north of Pittsburgh, PA.  When he is not writing, he is tending bar downtown or pacing on his fire escape smoking cigarettes.

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