Thursday, February 7, 2013

Two by Kevin Ridgeway

The House at the End of the Street

my nose and throat burn from snorting bourbon lines
laid out in long puddles across the cutting board
I’m at the house at the end of this New England street,
the punk rocker kids are nibbling on their own
waste and vomit, washing it down with Pabst Blue Ribbon
the debut of a new band is upon us in the living room,
the lead singer smashes bottles against the ketchup streaked walls
and screams into the microphone
unintelligible obscenities and manifestos
I’m not a punk but a sweater clad preppy taking in this scene
writing mental notes, a sort of twisted anthropological study
of the nation’s youth tucked away in suburban caverns
but I forget it all as I slam my drunken skull into
a nearby kid’s Mohawk head and blood drips down my nose

and I’ll go back to this house on the weekends off from
my cookie-cutter gig slinging pharmaceuticals
to my wife’s protests;
because it’s too much fun
not to burn away in the midst
of so much raging
hot apocalyptic diarrhea

The Disabled Poet

no money to clean my teeth,
shoes duct taped together
a mind like a spinning top,
time on my hands to scrawl verse
in between doctor’s visits
and monstrous moments
of a swinging mood
spotted at the food bank
with my bag of dented soup cans
and stale bread
the psychiatrist asks me
should we increase the dosage?
and I say yes
riding the smoldering bus back
to the suburban home for
broken boy soldiers
I swallow my extra pills
and transcribe the words
imprinted on the ceilings
of my mind. 

--Kevin Ridgeway

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