Jason Baldinger: “getting any feed for your chickens”





getting any feed for your chickens

it’s raining on Kansas Boulevard
city drains into warehouses
three tacos sit on the front seat
I find a parking lot, smother
them in spicy salsa
chase them with horchata
wait out the rain

eight hundred miles
through grasslands
riding on the ghost of buffalo
there’s a diner with a green
chile cheeseburger waiting

this is closing in on some
twisted truckers hymn
six years on the road
I’m gonna eat well tonight
hey we can’t all be Dave Dudley

Shawn you’re right, we’re shaved apes
poets shambling nowhere
crawling on our stomachs

there’s been many nights
I’ve been within seconds
of jumping in my car
pedal down non-stop
until three days later
I find myself in the desert

usually in that moment
whoever I’m with realizes
I’m serious, starts to talk me down

you know brother, unemployment
warps one’s mind, it should be
about finding yourself, instead
it’s all pressure, inadequacy
redefining yourself by work
I’ve said it before
you are free, we all are

if you ever hear the phone ring
at six a.m. you find my voice
saying you got five hours
pack a bag, we’re going
to Albuquerque, you’ll know
it’s fucking serious, there’s
cheeseburgers and chilies waiting
all we gotta do is get gone



About the Author: Jason Baldinger is a poet from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He was recently a Writer in Residence at Osage Arts Community, and is founder and co-director of The Bridge Series. He has multiple books available including the soon to be released The Better Angels of our Nature (Kung Fu Treachery) and the split books The Ugly Side of the Lake with John Dorsey (Night Ballet Press) as well as Little Fires Hiding with James Benger (Kung Fu Treachery Press). His work has been published widely in print journals and online. You can listen to him read his work on Bandcamp on lps by the bands Theremonster and The Gotobeds.


More by Jason Baldinger:

“I forgot the earth and heaven”

“When Cancer Come to Evansville, Indiana”

“blind into leaving”


Photo Credit: Carol M. Highsmith “Large metal chickens for sale at the Pottery Ranch pottery store in Marble Falls, Texas. Such chicken yard art is quite popular throughout Texas” (2014) The Library of Congress

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