Monday, October 15, 2018

Drunk Man Laughing At A Silver Dollar Moon (Or, The Night Grogger Fell Off The Front Porch) by. Jason Ryberg




It’s another sticky, windless after-hours
here in Midtown KC/MO
and the porch is all tricked-out with strings
of multi-colored lights (left up year-round
for years now, and proud of it),

and it feels as if the Great North American
Imp of the Perverse has been released
once again to practice its particular
designer / name brand of mischief  here
in the dark heart of the Heartland.

And Grogger is swaying on the front porch stoop
with a beer in his hand (and an indeterminate number
in his belly), cackling Jack Nicholson / Joker style
at the face he keeps insisting he can see grinning
down at us from what we’ve all agreed, repeatedly,
must be the fattest, fullest, most silvery moon
any of us can ever remember seeing.

My moon! he says, that’s my moon!

Ooooh fuck, he’s all fuckered up,
we all half-amusedly / half-nervously eyeball / ESP
to each other, as he’s making moves like he’s actually
thinking about climbing on his bike
and pedaling his drunk ass home.

Oh, no you don’t! Morales says,
but it’s too little / too late as Grogger puts his foot
where there ain’t no footing and WHOOSH!, BAM!,
he goes, ass over tea kettle, right off the ledge,
and it’s a five foot drop (easy) from the porch landing,
totaling more than ten from Grogger’s (unstoppable,
but thankfully helmeted) head to the (indifferent
and immovable) pavement below ...

And it’s just past 2am, and the wind
is suddenly kicking-up out of nowhere,
and an ambulance is out there,
somewhere in the thick, oily hobo stew of it all,
getting closer and closer (but hey,
this is Killa City, MO, baby,
it could be heading anywhere).

And Grogger is finally coming around
as the lights and sirens are strobing and yowling
down the street (thank God they didn’t bring
the ladder truck and SWAT team, this time).

But we all know he won’t be going
to no gotdamn hospital! no matter
how much we try to reason with,
cajole or threaten him,
so we just sign the release form
and put him to bed.

And the Great North American
Imp of The Perverse is done, here,
for the most part, and is, no doubt
needed, urgently, elsewhere.

And Grogger’s moon must surely be
grinning down on us, now.





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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