Fine Day in America, Sir — by Jason Ryberg

The two identically arranged characters
on the bus stop bench across the street
(almost as if they were attempting,
unconsciously, to spoon:
right legs crossed over left,
right arms stretched-out and
resting on bench back,
left hands in left-side coat pockets,
respectively) have begun the solemn,
gradual nod, jerk and snort ritual
of the seasoned drunk or junkie.

And another bus
has unloaded and loaded
and gone on without them again.

And a surly tom cat is strutting
and scratching around the scene
like an alpha barnyard rooster.

And a bull-mastiff pup
strains and whines on his chain
behind the chain-link fence
across the street.

And then there’s me,
just another aging, semi-skilled,
low-wage / low-status American monkey-boy,
waiting for my own ride out
onto the high seas of free trade
and competitive commerce.

Above us: birds, clouds, satellites and stars.

Below us: roots, pipes, tunnels and stones.

I kill my coffee,
light up a white grape flavored cigar
and check the papers for the latest news
from the outside world —

among other things—
Swat-style “No-Knock” Home Invasion Raids
Increasingly Popular With Younger Generation
of Law Enforcement Officers,

For-Profit Prisons
One Of The Nation’s
Fastest Growing Industries,


George Zimmerman Tours
Manufacturing Plant of Gun
Used To Kill Trayvon Martin.

Fine day in America, sir.


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 Massand Event Horizon (Luchador Press, 2019). 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.

April Editor Roy Beckemeyer‘s latest book is Mouth Brimming Over (2019, Blue Cedar Press).


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