THE NU PROFIT$ OF P/O/E/T/I/C DI$CHORD

 

 

Some choice cuts from

The Ghosts of Our Words Will be Heroes in Hell,

the latest book project by

THE NU PROFIT$ OF P/O/E/T/I/C DI$CHORD

 

 

Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner!  /  Jason Ryberg

The wind is whipping up
little cyclones of dust and leaves
in the ditch by the side of Old 40 HWY,

and there’s a star-shine gleam
to the chrome ball-hitch
of the pick-up truck in front of me,

and there’s road-side fences to the future,
telephone poles to the past,

and the sun, like a cyclop’s murder-red eye
is climbing up from behind the horizon
and right into my driver’s-side
rear-view mirror,

and Walk, Don’t Run by the Ventures
is playing now on the radio

and there, above it all,
a lone falcon or hawk sits, calmly,
surveying its little fiefdom from the top
of a billboard sign that reads,

Beef, it’s what’s for dinner!

You got that right, pal.

 

 

When You’re Poor  /  Damian Rucci

when you’re poor
you’re always fucking
or fighting

always fucking because there
is never anything to do
but thrust & moan

when that’s done
then you’re fighting
fighting to keep the lights on

fighting to keep the bills paid
fighting to find change to do the laundry
& fighting with the landlord
about that fifty bucks
he’s still missing

but it could be worse
you could always be waiting again
waiting for the electricity company
to finally kill the lights

waiting for that check to hit
the mail box
waiting for the winds to blow
luck your way for once

 

 

The Finger Has Got to Come Off  /  John Dorsey

crazy mark crushes his finger
in the back of a dump truck

instead of going to the hospital
he examines the bone

each angle
like the rings on a tree

each crack
a ridge of undiscovered country

clues to a past
that even he can’t quite recall

weeks go by
and the skin
just won’t heal

he says he’ll have to
cut the meat off himself
before it starts to stink
like a dying animal
left to rot
in the woods.

 

 

Lost Man’s Candle / Victor Clevenger

standing at the end of a cold day
we think about how it is always here
in some form good for a glow
hanging from a rope
tied to a breeze

it’s a lost man’s candle
the moon

creating the dull between the trees
branch’s shadows like arms reaching out
for a waist to grasp in dance
& we’re near

but there is no melody left in our breath
tonight     & there is no whistle
from the lips of the wind either

just the random cries of wild animals
that we’ve all heard
a thousand times before

as we stood there like fools

too fucking stubborn
to just find

a good path back home

 

 

The Ghosts of Our Words Will Be Heroes in Hell is available from OAC Books, and can be ordered via spartanpresskc@gmail.com or by contacting any of the poets on Facebook.

 

 

About the Authors:

Jason Ryberg is the author of thirteen books of poetry, six screenplays, a few short stories, a box full of folders, notebooks and scraps of paper that could one day be  (loosely) construed as a novel, and, a couple of angry  letters to various magazine and newspaper editors. He is currently an artist-in-residence at both The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s and the Osage Arts Community, and is an editor and designer at Spartan Books. His latest collection of poems is Standing at the Intersection of Critical Mass and Event Horizon (Luchador Press, 2019). He lives part-time in Salina, KS with a rooster named  Little Red and a billygoat named Giuseppe and part-time somewhere in the Ozarks, near the Gasconade River, where there are also many strange and wonderful woodland critters.

Damian Rucci is a writer and author of five poetry books including his latest Don’t Call it a Relapse (Punk Provincial Press 2019), founder of the Poetry in the Port reading series, and was a Poet in Residence at the Osage Arts Community in Belle, Missouri. He can be contacted at @damianrucci on Twitter and damian.rucci@gmail.com

John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Press, 2017) and Your Daughter’s Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize.He was the winner of the 2019 Terri Award given out at the Poetry Rendezvous. He may be reached at archerevans@yahoo.com.

Victor Clevenger spends his days in a Madhouse and his nights writing poetry. Selected pieces of his work have appeared in print magazines and journals around the world. He is the author of several collections of poetry including Sandpaper Lovin’ (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2017), A Finger in the Hornets’ Nest (Red Flag Poetry, 2018), and Corned Beef Hash By Candlelight (Luchador Press, 2019). Together with American poet John Dorsey, they run River Dog.

All of the Above

“The Bad Book” Unknown Artist, Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

 

All of the Above

By Jason Ryberg

 

All of the Above

A book of poems is
a family photo album
for a spectacularly dysfunctional family,

a scrapbook of newspaper clippings,
wedding announcements, obituaries
and concert ticket stubs,

a file cabinet full of classified documents,
elaborately detailed conspiracy theories
and jealously guarded recipes.

A book of poems is
a jelly jar full of fortune cookie fortunes,

an ancient tome of forbidden knowledge,

a grimoire of (otherwise) benign
spells, hexes, hoodoos and charms.

A book of poems is (at least)
equal parts scrapyard and curio shop,
(bus station at 2am  / country crossroads at midnight),

a shoebox full of old post cards
and love letters,

a rolodex of dead or merely
recommissioned phone numbers
(I’m sorry, who were you looking for?)

A book of poems is an estate sale for a wealthy,
eccentric hoarder who has been missing
and presumed dead for nearly a decade.

an operator’s manual for a machine
that hasn’t been invented yet,

a road atlas for a lost continent.

A book of poems is …

all of the above.

.

About the Author: Jason Ryberg is the author of twelve books of poetry, six screenplays, a few short stories, a box full of folders, notebooks and scraps of paper that could one day be (loosely) construed as a novel, and, a couple of angry  letters to various magazine and newspaper editors. He is currently an artist-in-residence at both The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s and the Osage Arts Community, and is an editor and designer at Spartan Books. His latest collections of poems are Zeus-X-Mechanica (Spartan Press, 2017) and A Secret History of the Nighttime World (39 West Press, 2017). He lives part-time in Kansas City with a rooster named Little Red and a billygoat named Giuseppe and part-time somewhere in the Ozarks, near the Gasconade River, where there are also many strange and wonderful woodland critters. 

“Sometimes the Moon is Nothing More Than the Moon” By Jason Ryberg

 

Sometimes the Moon is Nothing
More Than the Moon

Sometimes the moon comes down
(if she happens to be in town)
from her royal couch of clouds
to drink with us (my shadow
and me) when no one else will.

Sometimes the moon rings like a temple bell
on a brittle, breathless, freeze-dried night,
signaling the beginning (or maybe the end)
of something important and radiates
with a halo of steam like a luminous
ball of dry ice.

Sometimes the moon is a curved dagger
that some Bedouin bandit prince
might have brandished in the blue and grainy
late, late show of my childhood dreams.

Sometimes the moon is a white rose
that drunken fools inevitably try
to shoot arrows and poems at,
knowing full-well that both return
to Earth with potentially dangerous results.

Sometimes the moon is a pallid face
peering in at us through a Winter window scene
while the radio begins to glow with a moody
Ellington Indigo and a car down on the street
is struggling to clear the early frost from its throat.

Sometimes the moon is a cop’s
flashlight cutting a cautious path                                                                                                          through film-noir ghosts of gutter steam.

Sometimes the moon is a 60-watt bulb
shining from the back porch,
out into the sweaty, firefly-infused,
backyard jungle nights of long ago.

Sometimes the moon is a guard tower spot,
always trying to catch us with its magic lasso
whenever we make our midnight raids, over the walls,
into the Garden of Earthly Delights.

Sometimes the moon is a silver dollar
that’s been sheared in two by a dull
and rusty pair of tin snips.

Sometimes the moon is a shiny dime
flattened on a railroad track,
in which, if one looks just right,
a semblance of Roosevelt’s confident
and reassuring smirk can still be seen.
Sometimes the moon is a fat, blue
androgynous Buddha, grinning out
at the universe in every direction at once.

Sometimes the moon is a single bright eye
of a dark god of the ancient world,
peering down at us through a hole torn
in the top of a circus tent of clouds,
or up from an inversely alternate underworld
through the dimensional portal
of a swollen, marshy pond.

Sometimes the moon is nothing more
than the moon.

No.

That’s never true.

 

.

About the Author: Jason Ryberg is the author of twelve books of poetry, six screenplays, a few short stories, a box full of folders, notebooks and scraps of paper that could one day be (loosely) construed as a novel, and, a couple of angry  letters to various magazine and newspaper editors. He is currently an artist-in-residence at both The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s and the Osage Arts Community, and is an editor and designer at Spartan Books. His latest collections of poems are Zeus-X-Mechanica (Spartan Press, 2017) and A Secret History of the Nighttime World (39 West Press, 2017). He lives part-time in Kansas City with a rooster named Little Red and a billygoat named Giuseppe and part-time somewhere in the Ozarks, near the Gasconade River, where there are also many strange and wonderful woodland critters.