Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Sweet By and By (or, Curried Beef and Eggs for Breakfast) for Tony Hayden. by Jason Ryberg

The only answer, really,
to a morning after a night
of too much curried beef and bourbon
is, of course, more bourbon
and maybe some brown sugar
(if you have it) mixed into a mug
of hot, tar-black coffee,

an old tattered bathrobe,
an even older folding chair,
a pair of cheap sunglasses (seriously,
never pay more than ten bucks
because, sure-as-shit, you’ll lose them
or sit on them or something equally

a book of 800 Years of Ancient
Chinese Poetry, a cool(-ish),
moody wind in the spindly,
spider web trees (strung, here
and there, with invisible chimes
it seems),

a smelly mutt named Murph
or Zeus or Lucky to bring you
a stick to throw, from time to time,

left-over curried beef
and eggs (over-easy)
warming on the stove,

a muddy river sliding
lazily, by and by, and there,
in the distance, a rustic,
country Charon, maybe,
ferrying some recently
departed soul on over
to the other side.

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 Head Full of Boogeymen / Belly Full of Snakes(Spartan Press, 2016) 
and A Secret History of the Nighttime World (39 West Press, 2017). 
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. 

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