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a little manipulation

by Gabriel Ricard

If he times it right,
The Presidents will once again
pay tribute to the moment when video
killed the radio star with a blinding one-two punch
that left the brilliant and useless alike
scrambling for five more minutes of Thursday night.

It was a massacre that started slowly
and has gone on to own a lot of important property
around these parts.

There was no room for drinking a cup of coffee alone
on Tuesday night, or falling in love as the getaway car
tried to drive right up the side of the prison wall on Sunday morning.

Because anyone who’s ever really known what it’s like
to celebrate as though tomorrow is just a theory for old men
will tell you that the real happening is always a day before Friday.

He got hooked on that insight at seventeen
and almost didn’t make it back alive from the night
he proposed to a mother of six who smoked cigarettes
even though the floor was practically made out of gasoline.

To say nothing of the drug empire in her basement
The attack dogs who paced around her attic
all hours of the night and waited patiently for the spotlight
to shine on them again.

Somehow he got through that with time to spare.

He lived on to get drunk at ten in the morning
and lose everything playing cards at a flea market in Georgia.
He held it together for a chance to look back and realize
that he didn’t appreciate the right people at the right time.
He kept going under the assumption that he would wake up
wake up and find himself halfway to the other side of the unseen world.

Supposedly it’s quite beautiful out there.
Just about anybody can find someone
to put up with their awful jokes while maybe even
grabbing a few dollars to get by until the end of the decade.

Unfortunately he’s still roughly about halfway there.

This occurs to him during most sleepless mornings,
and it occurs to him as the song reminds him
that it’s gone too far.

He kicks the volume to obscene heights for good luck
and keeps his hands firmly in his pockets as he turns
the corner and waits for a chance to get across a city
of cold weather and endless congested freeways.

04/04/2011

Posted on 04/04/2011
Copyright © 2016 Gabriel Ricard

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 04/05/11 at 12:30 PM

Entertaining and predictably unpredictable again Gabby.

Posted by P.T. Brooks on 04/18/11 at 10:11 AM

this one kept me wondering. entertaining all the way through

Posted by Gregory R Schelske on 05/01/11 at 12:19 AM

So smooth. So cool. So right on. Thanks for sharing, brother.

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