VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Kevin Ridgeway

I WENT CRAZY AGAIN TODAY

her eyes seduced me

but when I heard 

the soul in her voice

I was in love with her 

and the desperation of

the human heart when 

it blows away like a 

paper bag inside an 

angry wind that has 

displaced our hope

in a way that sounds

so tragic it’s beautiful. 

DISPOSABLE THOUGHTS

ten minutes until boarding

an airplane home and I’m

holding in my bleeding guts

so that I don’t scream into

the midnight air upon takeoff,

assigned to a middle seat

between two people who

I will never know because

I’m no one special, alone

inside the dungeons of my mind

until I learn how to save myself

as I fly back to the world of a past

everyone rescued themselves

from, a place of cruel jokes

that have never been funny,

a past I’m too pissed off

to drown in anymore. 

POEM FOR TRAVIS BLAIR

your stories are like movies

captured on the celluloid

of my imagination, when

you remind me you’ve

got t-shirts older than me

in between stories about

David Carradine, Bob Dylan

and Tuesday Weld back

in your Laurel Canyon daze. 

We both laugh at ourselves

for not having a clue about

what we’re doing when we

sit there waiting and waiting

for a mechanic to change

the flat tire we got on the

way back from Dallas,

seated in the darkness

of a Lone Star night

watching imaginary

movies of the life

I’ve always dreamed of

as you tell me all of

the ladies you’ve slept

with and what a weirdo

Carradine was and how

Willie Nelson told you

to go back to big screen

Texas, which I’ve leapt

into so that I can sit

there in the car and

and co-star under a

silver screen night

next to a man who

is full of so much

stardust, he’s golden. 

39 THOUSAND FEET 

was the peak elevation of the aircraft I was on, 

windows gazing down on a world I could not see 

from the window seat because I was seated in the middle, 

the candles on my imaginary 39th birthday cake blown out 

and my fickle mind blown by numbers who all count 

the meaning to my life as a final descent is made, 

but not out of this mortal realm, not just yet I’ve got years 

to catch up with everyone, halfway across the country 

and alone, in search of the daydreams who escaped me 

over the desert hills of the American Southwest, larger 

than life down on earth, the same earth I’ve returned to 

with the same grievous wings my heartbreak left behind. 

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