Jason Baldinger: “this poem was written for john dorsey in the el bronco bar, richmond indiana”

this poem was written for john dorsey in the el bronco bar, richmond indiana 

chill as fuck
across gossamer ohio
through endless western sunset 

babe, I'm sorry it was you
cancer took to the prom
when friends hear you're together
they freeze in existential headlights 

brother, I'm sorry that grief
doles out shitty drunk lap dances
no care if those duckets
ever roost in a g string 

john, I promise fried chicken
and all world shaking doom allows
in less time than a waffle house day 

I'll be on the horn to gus's 
soon as I kill the engine
in the sky high pie parking lot
maplewood is an armadillo away 

over dinner the other night
I said magic and loss
I say it often, in and out of context
a friend replied, with enough time served
magic doesn't hold sway over
the ocean of loss we worship at now 

I can't say I disagree
except the waitress who calls 
me amigo like I've never left
just delivered a grande margarita 

in the hum of three hundred easy miles
and the shine of tequila 
I won't want to buy a camper 

but I have the receipt for short walk
in lights between speedway and meijer
lights that stretch from here 
as far as midwest wherever 
you know I'll be there soon

About the Author: Jason Baldinger is a poet and photographer from Pittsburgh, PA. He’s penned fifteen books of poetry the newest of which include: A History of Backroads Misplaced: Selected Poems 2010- 2020 (Kung Fu Treachery), and This Still Life (Kung Fu Treachery) with James Benger. His first book of photography, Lazarus, as well as two ekphrastic collaborations (with Rebecca Schumejda and Robert Dean) are forthcoming. His work has appeared across a wide variety of online sites and print journals. You can hear him from various books on Bandcamp and on lps by The Gotobeds and Theremonster. His etsy shop can be found under the tag la belle riviere.


Image Credit: John Margolies: “Package liquor store, Cheyenne, Wyoming” (2004) Public domain image courtesy of the Library of Congress