Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Jason Ryberg’

A Tiny Drop of Truth — By Jason Ryberg

Sometimes the summer night’s hot whisper

is nothing more than a black snake’s hiss of a word

we cannot always quite discern-


a momentary corridor 

of connectivity between us 

and the outer darkness 

between the stars-


a smooth shiny pebble of a word

barely graspable in its hard



nearly as ethereal on its surface 

as the thought

at its dark heart,


a thought with a tiny drop of truth

in its blood, like a poison,

secretly insinuated into 

the winding stream of things

in an attempt to stimulate some sort of healing

of the tear between the way things appear to be

and the way things really are,


a truth that by fevering up the blood a bit

and disquieting deep dreams

and maybe thereby prying open the inner onion-eye

that sleeps, deeply, at the center of the mind

forces itself 


to at least be disbelieved.

~ Jason Ryberg

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 A Secret History of the Nighttime World (39 West, 2018) and Lone Wolves, Black Sheep and Red-Headed Stepchildren (Kung Fu Treachery Press, 2018). He lives part-time in Kansas City and Salina 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.

Guest Editor Al Ortolani’s poetry has appeared in journals such as Rattle, Prairie Schooner, and the Chiron Review. He is the recent recipient of the Rattle Chapbook Award for 2019. Ortolani is the Manuscript Editor for Woodley Press in Topeka, Kansas.

Record Skipping in a Lonely Room (or, as my mama says, she loves me but she could be jivin’ too) by Jason Ryberg

Ryberg photo9:17 in the morning,

naked, drunk and bleeding

like Martin Sheen in that scene

from “Apocalypse Now”

(“Saigon… shit, still in Saigon”),

one eye still pasted shut from sleep,

front and back doors wide open,

every light in the house on,

half-eaten pizza from somewhere

I’ve never even heard of,

three-quarter drained handle of rum,

cocaine contrails, twenty-dollar bill

and someone’s Costco card

in full view on the kitchen counter

next to a Valentine’s card from my mother,

David Allen Coe’s “Long Haired Red Neck”

skipping, loud, on the turn-table

for who knows

how long.

~ Jason Ryberg

Guest editor: Kevin Rabas co-directs the creative writing program at Emporia State and co-edits Flint Hills Review. He has four books: Bird’s Horn, Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book and Nelson Poetry Book Award winner, Sonny Kenner’s Red Guitar, also a Nelson Poetry Book Award winner, and Spider Face: stories. He writes, “For my month, I searched for poems that meditate on “time” in its many musical nuances, such as in times a tune jogged your memory, times the music seemed to transport you in time, times you patted your foot or danced to the music’s groove (time), times the music jump-started your heart (internal time), OR meditations on musical elements (such as 4/4 time vs. 6/8 time OR swung vs. straight, rock 2+4 time).”

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