Kevin Ridgeway: “Good Timing”

 

 

Good Timing

It’s too late
for inappropriate
cannabis fueled laughter
in dive bars
eyes glued to the brights,
reds, blues, greens and oranges
of Gilligan’s Island
on the flat screen
It’s too late
to argue the artistic merit
of Gilligan’s Island

It’s too late
to drink Listerine
and play shoot-em-up video games
in an unbroken trance
It’s too late
to listen to angry teenage music
and mosh against stuffed animals
in a lonesome haze

It’s too late
to borrow money from mom and pop
and blow it all on a
Collector’s Edition Star Trek play set
It’s too late to huff nitrous oxide
and encourage
a budding figurine romance
between Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock

It’s too late
to officiate feline-canine
civil unions
fueled by
White Lightning and No-Doze
It’s too late
for waking up in a galaxy
of uneaten French fries,
an obscene underground movie
playing an endless loop
while you’ve been in slumber

But it’s too early
for many other things:
spastic colon, arthritis,
dementia, gingivitis
and incontinence.

The present mid-morning
headache,
misgivings about the
past and future
and discovery of
T.S. Eliot are all
right on time. 

(originally appeared in Side B Magazine, 2011)

 

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

 

Image Credit: Adrien Alban Tournachon “Dog Smoking a Pipe” (1860) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

Two Poems By Kevin Ridgeway

 

 

Fake Dad

i was walking out of a liquor store
and he came right at me
with his grey hair and dyed mustache
i realized it was the ghost
of my incarcerated father,
who I’ve been searching
for all my life.

 

 

Midnight Shenanigans

when the rest of the world has let me down,
I amuse myself in the dark with jokes and
invisible girlfriends, waiting for the next best thing 
to happen in my imagination, if not ever in this 
extinguished flame we know as the disappointment 
of reality, a reality we struggle in our words 
to transform the pain into something profound. 

 

 

About the Author: Kevin Ridgeway is the author of Too Young to Know (Stubborn Mule Press).  Recent work can be found in Slipstream, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Main Street Rag, The American Journal of Poetry, Big Hammer, Trailer Park Quarterly and So it Goes:  The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.

 

More By Kevin Ridgeway:

Sally with the Accent

Five Hundred Channels and Nothing On

My Nephew and I Escape from Prison

 

Image Credit: Walker Evans “Sidewalk and Shopfront, New Orleans” (1935) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

“My Nephew and I Escape from Prison” By Kevin Ridgeway

 

My Nephew and I Escape from Prison

he’s technically inclined enough
at just six years old
to operate most tools 
building things like a filthy
Frank Lloyd Wright
obsessed with the idiosyncrasies
of each claw machine
he intends to break ground with
a shovel and begin digging
his hand like one of his
beloved blue print envisioned
crayola claws until there is a hole
big enough for us both to get
to the other side where I’ll be
charged with explaining to
people that we are prisoners
of a psychological spectrum
we refuse to serve needless
time we could spend building
things, writing poems and on
parole from the menace of
social stigma we are too
distracted by our gifted
obsessions to waste time
paying attention to as
we find the miracles in
the attics of our minds,
minds no one quite has
like the two of us.

 

About the Author: Kevin Ridgeway is the author of Too Young to Know (Stubborn Mule Press).  Recent work can be found in Slipstream, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Main Street Rag, The American Journal of Poetry, Big Hammer, Trailer Park Quarterly and So it Goes:  The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.

 

More By Kevin Ridgeway:

Sally with the Accent

Five Hundred Channels and Nothing On

 

Image Credit: Vincent Van Gogh “Prisoners Exercising” (1890)