Sunday, March 15, 2009

Three poems by Ryan B. Richey

Three poems
by Ryan b. Richey

Uncle Paul’s

Shagging Wagon survives the driveway and we’re greeted by Paul’s three legged dog running past, jumping up and nipping our ears. Feed him leftover Lunchables and pet him. I guess the bumps all over his back are tics. Bring our own food, because Uncle Paul’s cabinets are lined with Alpo. Stay at the local inn, because Uncle Paul’s beds are made of stacked tobacco. If you got to go, go to the outhouse. If it is filled up, any tree will have to do. How much are your bills? Paul pays a dollar a month, thanks to one light bulb, a TV set he turns on once a week for Hee-Haw, one fire-burning furnace, and no running water. Sometimes no water at all when a cat falls in the well.


Chicken divan

Boil eight split chicken breasts for fifteen minutes- then skin and bone. And then there is Mawee. Mawee lives with her mother TT (who is not really her mother). Mawee is married to Carl (who looks just like Mawee). They all live with Wonnie (who is divorced from Mawee. Mix together one can of cream of chicken soup, one soup can of Miracle Whip, and 2/3 tablespoon of curry powder. These four are on every program known to man. They live in government housing and I’ve heard they have a giant gel screen TV. Grease a nine by thirteen inch baking dish, layer broccoli, then chicken, then sauce. One or the other of these four visits us frequently. When one comes they all come. Mix crumbs and butter. One visit through was just Mawee and TT. They had felt movement in TT’s belly and decided she was pregnant. Spread over mixture. They were so happy about the impending arrival. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes. When X-rays showed only constipation, their mood darkened. They were furious with the stupid doctor! They shouted, ‘We’ll be back in six months and we’ll show you our eight pound turd!”



You told my mom in the ER I was your first love. Well, why did you break it off with me then? Telling me I’m more like a brother. We were supposed to buy that little pink house in Greenfield together with you as a cashier and me in a restaurant. I wish I never knew better.

We were animals. No shame freaky deaky under winter coats on car rides with friends. If it had been anyone else they would have said get a room. Atop the green felted pool table spotlighted by hanging billiard lights. Our lives were a movie. Steve Miller Band’s greatest hits to 10 over and over.

What was wrong with us? Good Lord, your dad is a sheriff. Which made buying stale cigarettes from vending machines all the more exhilarating. Taking off before the hotel clerks caught us. Eating in diners with no money, because we told her it was your birthday. Living life stoned, smoking in thrift shops, wedged in grungy sofas. Putting on layers and layers of clothes in dressing rooms until you would explode. Didn’t buy much. All our money spent on smokes, gas, booze, and weed.

Went through two cars together. Snuck you out in blizzards. Snow-filled floorboards hydroplaning over no-track roads. It’s funny I never remember sleeping. Bliss slid right through crack of dawn truck stops, seven class periods, after school Goose Road hotboxes, and all night pigs in a blanket because my momma ain’t home. You fell asleep on my arm during our big trip to Broad Ripple where the alternatives went to buy Van’s. Maybe you were stoned. I was. I drive these roads lost for eternity never quite sure how it ended.

Author bio:

Ryan B. Richey is a Knightstown, IN native that has made a career of straying. From one medium to another. From jobs as wide-ranging as grave marker salesman to room service. He went to Purdue for accounting and ended up with a degree in
painting. He currently resides in Chicago as a recent SAIC grad student in painting pushing out text, paintings, and songs from his band Hannis Pannis.

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