Kevin Ridgeway: “Strange Rumination”



Strange Rumination

I am going to break free from this prison
that I built from twisted blueprints,
it’s ramshackle facade collapsing over me
like a Buster Keaton near
death experience. I will no longer
befriend isolation, because isolation
feeds me too many bad ideas,
most of which I’ve kept to myself.
I will no longer stare out the window
at other kids while they all become
close, lifelong friends and I am dragged
further away than any man or woman
has gone before, through the same
black hole my mother entered
when she tried to start a riot
with the blade of her cutting words
but her self-destructive quest for justice
enslaved her and me, a lonesome spirit
who doesn’t believe in a god
to perform miracles because
that would make the world a fair
and balanced place where they would
embrace my individuality. 
But I’m still here, stigmatized 
and staring out of the same old window, 
passing notes with poems 
written on them in chicken scratch
underneath the front door 
no one knocks on any more, 
out there in a world of freedom 
where I can see everyone but me.


About the Author: Kevin Ridgeway is the author of Too Young to Know (Stubborn Mule Press). Recent work has appeared in Slipstream, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Main Street Rag, Cultural Weekly, Gasconade Review, The American Journal of Poetry and So it Goes:  The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, among others.  A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, he lives and writes in Long Beach, CA.


More By Kevin Ridgeway:

Fake Dad

500 Channels and Nothing On

Sally with the Accent

Good Timing


Image Credit: Clip from “Steamboat Bill Jr.” with Buster Keaton. Public Domain

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