brave and the bold #0.5

by Gabriel Ricard

The scary thing
is that I’m only about five years older
than these goddamn kids.

Seven at the most
and it’s not that I’m an ex-samurai
from that unfortunate part of the state,
so much as I’m just not the fan of crowds
that I used to be.

At the risk of sounding
as though I’m going to rack up
a thousand-dollar bill on 411 by the end of the night,
I had a much better time when I still didn’t know
these star-crossed streets by overeager heart.

Remember that one guy?
Remember that crazy shit he did?
It was that one night when the streetlights were exploding
for no reason. There were ballerinas slugging it out
with the strippers just outside The 4 ½ Hearts Club. Then some jackass art student
managed to open up one of those wearisome doorways
to hell in the basement of Plan 9 Records.

That thing he said when a lake of fire took down
half of VCU still cracks me up to this day.

Or how about that gorgeous singer-songwriter-fashion designer?

She kept her nails long,
rarely washed her hair,
bought train tickets for strangers and drew more blood
in a demanding hour than those vampires who owned the limousines
could get in a year of beautiful , infatuated speeches.

What the hell happened to her?

Last I heard,
she told me she would meet me in an hour
in front of that one building where the first step
was a doozy even if you had been there before.

Never heard from her again.
Haven’t seen any of them in ages.

Not even Wild Bill or Nancy St. Crazyjane,
and I didn’t even like those motherfuckers
all that much.

Drug addicts with clean driving records
and dozens of guns will always make me nervous.

But right now,
I’d even welcome them with open arms.
And my wallet safely tucked away in New Zealand.

I guess it doesn’t matter.

What’s important is that I’m here,
I’m well-rested, and I’m absolutely certain
that something better than anything so far
is just about to happen.

No one can argue I’m not
sensibly well-adjusted for the occasion.

It also helps to know
what to avoid and for how long. If I catch anybody
acting the same way, then I’ll know I’m not alone.

That’s a good feeling, but it’s not essential for tonight.


Posted on 12/04/2010
Copyright © 2022 Gabriel Ricard

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 12/12/10 at 01:44 PM

always interesting. ( your labor of love ) with every line you give reason to continue to hope for more and you seem always to accomplish this with something of a push, a shove, onto the next stanza and always butting and stabbing at the reader's convention with the spikes of a bulldog's leash.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 12/17/10 at 03:52 PM

When I read this, I finished as I so often do with your work, thinking that this young man has been my teacher, pulled me from my soft, comfortable, suburban garden room, into a real world, made me a bit more urbane, less insulated. With open eyes, I bow to you for this brief journey into your world. Thanks, Gabriel.

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