crazy, crazy jesus

by Gabriel Ricard

The drummer trying to give up heartless late nights
lives upstairs and spends twelve hours a day
sweating out the compulsion to dream of inspiration.

He wears a big jacket in August,
and I don’t think
he’s ever going to tell me his name.

Some of the most secretive people in the world
are just very quiet. They have nothing to hide,
and they keep the orange juice and vodka
separate at all times for no particular reason.

Some people lord over weird hours by choice.
No special reason for keeping six lamps, fourteen grenades
and four Bibles in the bedroom closet. Revolution is not coming soon.
Those things will probably be there long after they move out, pass on
or kill those two birds with three similar-looking stones.

The drummer digs rock and roll,
but there isn’t a lot of call for that these days.

I’ve heard him play rockabilly,
and I’ve heard him try to compel strangers
passing by on the streets below to quit their jobs.
Quit, and start digging shallow graves at wherever their glory days
turned to concrete you shouldn’t trust enough to walk on.

With nursery rhymes that suggest better places to be.

I can’t stand to hear him play by himself.
It’s better when someone shows up to jam.
I prefer guitars that picked up the blues
in their old age fifty years ago.

I appreciate anyone who skips a pine box gathering,
especially if it’s someone close,
for the sake of squeezing in a couple more hours of practice.

He’s still brilliant at how he’s throwing his life away.
I’ve seen choirgirls and trashy theater geeks
pass through his doorway in the same afternoon.

But I still like it when he brings in someone
to write songs, argue about that bad Texas gig from 1989
and shatter the light bulb on my ceiling
after the first punch is thrown.

It’s crisp, believable medicine. That’s how I see it.
I can go a whole hour without listening to my own music,
and I don’t take it to heart that my own madness
hasn’t been nearly as lucrative.

I don’t even mind that his love life is as steady
as the suicide attempts over the one-story Italian dancing school
across the street.

I tried my luck with one his girlfriends once.
She thought I was kidding.

It’s cool.
Life is not a competition.
I just like knowing where I stand.


Posted on 01/16/2012
Copyright © 2022 Gabriel Ricard

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Lori Blair on 01/16/12 at 12:51 AM

and I am still waiting to know where I might stand..Brilliant friend!!!!!

Posted by Sarah Wolf on 01/16/12 at 02:01 AM

This was fun, awesome as always

Posted by Lauren Singer on 01/16/12 at 02:05 AM

youre happy, arent you?

Posted by Jody Pratt on 01/16/12 at 04:42 AM

I like this story. I'm not sure how I feel about this guy at the end of it.

Posted by Colleen Sperry on 01/16/12 at 02:49 PM

incredible write! great read!

Posted by Joe Cramer on 01/16/12 at 07:41 PM

... brilliant.....

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 01/17/12 at 03:34 PM

Life is always trying to define, to bend, to shape us to its will, except the poet has something up its sleeve, something like a wrench to go contrary to that shape and bend, otherwise poetry would only echo and mimic life, word for word, and that is too predictable a way to go. and so it is good that there are writers such as yourself always keeping vigil that your surreal and pliant expression go contrary to the stiff, to the quackery which is life.

Posted by Meghan Helmich on 01/19/12 at 04:29 PM

This piece has a quiet fever to it...and no promise of a cure anywhere near. I like it.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 02/06/12 at 06:15 PM

Some very astute observations here, nicely mixed together in the image/word processor of your mind for all of us to feast upon.

Posted by Anya Kaats on 02/23/12 at 01:09 AM

those last three lines are so fantastic! and what an awesome development of character.

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