Jason Baldinger: “i remember the royal river”





I remember the royal river

I remember the royal river
a bleached skeleton, bones
calloused and raw
these forever miles
the only skin left attached
vermont rain soaked halos 
glow dry in cold july sunshine 

I remember the royal river
mile long rutted driveways
a peninsula that breaks
into islands, black flies 
tall grass and hippie 
mansions lost to the grid
I shake rain tent flaps
drying out in turrets
as backgammon days 
passed picking ticks
off golden retrievers 

I remember the royal river
the maine granite coast
lone trees clawing
to hold the rocks along
the atlantic, ice cold showers
this gaunt face in a tide pool 

I remember the royal river
tequila on the docks
fortification for a last days boogie
gather these atoms south 
with notions of sacco and vanzetti 

I remember the royal river
as a skeleton 
with a compass
left in place 
of memory



About the Author: Jason Baldinger was recently told he looks like a cross between a lumberjack and a genie. He’s also been told he’s not from Pittsburgh, but actually is the physical manifestation of Pittsburgh. Although unsure of either, he does love wandering the country writing poems.  His newest books include: A Threadbare Universe (Kung Fu Treachery Press), The Afterlife is a Hangover (Stubborn Mule Press) and A History of Backroads Misplaced: Selected Poems 2010-2020 (Kung Fu Treachery). He also has a forthcoming book with James Benger called This Still Life. His work has been widely across print journals and online. You can hear him read his work on Bandcamp and on lp’s by The Gotobeds and Theremonster.


More Poetry by Jason Baldinger:

This Ghostly Ambiance

It was a Golden Time

Beauty is a Rare Thing


Image Credit: Detroit Publishing Co. “Picnic rocks, Kennebunk River, Kennebunkport, Maine” (1890) The Library of Congress Public Domain.

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