Sunday, August 9, 2020

Brown Paper Bag by Jason Ryberg

with apologies to Ted Kooser

We got two big double-bagged 
brown paper bags, packed tight 
and heavy with stalks of rhubarb 
from my Uncle Pico’s garden,

two big, black boiling pots, 
the kind with the speckled enameling
(like starry nights), filled up with water 
on the stove and already starting 
to roil a little,

packets of brewer’s yeast, 
a five pound bag of sugar 
and two six-packs of Miller High Life 
(plus a pint of Evan for back-up, 
because you just never know—
better to have it and not need it
and all that, as they say). 

So, let’s open a couple of beers,
take a couple of nips off that bottle, there, 
turn down this burner just a touch 
(and the radio up just a hair) and see 
what the night has in store for us.






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 Mass
and Event Horizon (Luchador Press, 2019). 
He lives part-time in Salina, KS 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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