Friday, January 14, 2011

Two poems by Jason Ryberg


Thirteen Mexican blackbirds
who’ve burst from a pie,
flittering and skittering,
nervously, about the scene.

Thirteen devils dancing
on the head of a ten-penny nail
driven into the skull of a snitch.

A bear in a sundress
sipping fine Darjeeling and reading Rabelaise
and a bull consulting the I-Ching,
each keeping a wary eye on the other
from opposite ends of the room.

A surgeon juggling bone saws
and whistling show tunes.

A bloodhound with the boot-ass blues,
a skeleton with a fool’s cap
and a blind swordsman folding origami cranes.

3 Elvis’s eating chicken wings and playin’ spades
and a vampire sipping cappuccino,
smoking cigarillos and reading
yesterday’s USA Today.

A grand master
of the Drunken Monkey Technique
precariously balanced on the back of a chair

A lawyer centering her chakra,
and a lounge-singer finding his power-animal
(most likely a mountain lion
or salamander or maybe even a raven
with a cigarette in its beak).

A cheerleader purging behind a dumpster,
a preacher on the verge of kicking out
a stained glass window
and a circus-midget’s smirking ghost,
skulking under a bloody moon.

A jealous god sulking on top of Mt. Fuji,
contemplating the weather and whether
to smite Mr. Jones with a suitcase full of money
or to enlighten Mr. Brown
with a falling baby grand.

An attorney general holed up
in his secret fortress at the bottom
of Lake Wassapomati, plotting random harassments
and senseless acts of patriotism.

And, finally,
beneath the massively gothic
masonic temple, in downtown Salina, Kansas,
in the hermetically sealed obscurity
of sub, sub-basement #3
a hundred cigar-smokin’ monkeys
are sitting at their big Macs and fancy PC’s,
staring blankly at the blank, glowing screens…






Three blue tears in a bucket,
A river of tears in the rain,
A tree-house fallin’ in the woods,
A blind dog barkin’ at a train,
A blind dog barkin’ at a train.

A dead man watchin’ soap operas,
A beer bottle moanin’ with the wind,
A girl in black waitin’ at the Amtrack station
Never to be seen again,
Never to be seen again.

Three blue tears in a bucket,
A broken down truck stuck in the weeds,
A world of good intentions versus
A thimbleful of bad dreams, Lord,
A thimbleful of bad dreams.

A bleeding Jesus on the dashboard,
A bath-tub Virgin for a shallow grave,
A rock that’s dripping honey,
A mattress stuffed with money,
A house gone up in flames,
Lord, a house gone up in flames.

Three blue tears in a bucket,
A weathervane creakin’ in a sad grey wind,
A whole closet full of skeletons
And a belly full of gin,
A belly full of gin.

Three blue tears in a bucket,
A river of tears in the rain,
A needle full of white light,
A little “save the baby” to ease the pain.
Three blue tears in a bucket
The Lord won’t take you but you wish he would,
Three blue tears in a bucket
All your cryin’ aint gonna do you no good,
No, your cryin’ aint gonna do you no good,
Your cryin’ aint gonna do you no good,
No, your cryin’ aint gonna do you no good.

Author bio:

Jason Ryberg is the author of seven books of poetry, six screenplays, a few short stories, a box of loose papers
that could one day be loosely construed as a novel and a couple of angry letters to various magazine and newspaper editors. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri. His latest collection of poems, Blunt Trauma (co-authored with Iris Appelquist and released by Spartan Press), is most easily found at Prosperos Bookstore.

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