don't stay familiar

by Gabriel Ricard

This wasn’t a place to grow up.

It never was.

There were houses, a cooking school,
a library and a good place to screw around
when the god-awful Monday morning light
finally learned how to talk to you.

It was a country that got rid of all those things,
and left behind miles of gas stations
abandoned since the 1950’s.

One or two of them have a lunch rush,
but when I was there
no one wanted to leave,
so it was a bit on the crowded side.

I didn’t even get to see that early morning light.
Dusk was what everyone had voted on,
so dusk was what anyone who believed
in drinking and conning the lonesome until dawn
was going to have to put up with
for as long as they cared to hang around.

There was nothing to keep me around.
Places in the middle of where I’m honestly,
seriously, truthfully going to get to someday
are nothing new to me. I remember them,
or I assume I’ve seen the stationary scene of the accident
in pictures.

I’ll climb a fire escape,
stare at the actresses collaborating with knives
until they notice me
and forget why the need to get to the roof
had been turning my ribs into powder all week.

Distraction comes easily to me.
Even I’m not going to spend the rest of my life
standing still, waiting for a warm face to appear
in the middle of so many scowls and broken cars.

Wherever I’m going isn’t as good a question
as whenever I’m going to get there.

I can’t answer the first one,
and I don’t like what I’ve always guessed with the second.

It doesn’t matter if I’m right though.

As long as I don’t have to swing
more than two weeks of eternity in one place,
I’ll leave the rest up to what the remains
of my imagination has to say
about filling in the long blanks near the end.


Posted on 05/11/2012
Copyright © 2022 Gabriel Ricard

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 05/11/12 at 11:43 PM

Like an epiphany...illuminating prose. Love the close off in that last stanza...about filling in the long blanks near the end. Can sure relate to that! Happy Friday Gabriel. :)

Posted by George Hoerner on 05/12/12 at 01:16 AM

I love it Gabe. You fill in the blanks. I'm still trying to put them in those places I'd rather forget and there are a lot.

Posted by LK Barrett on 05/17/12 at 02:05 PM

Kierkegard said life was a hundred times too short for us to spend in boredom-he'd approve the reckless restlessness here, the absorption in the journey rather than the sudden arrival at the end. You ever think no one wants to leave when you're there because you're there? I'd stay just to sweat another one of these out of you. Awesome write. lk

Posted by Sandy M. Humphrey on 05/22/12 at 09:25 PM

"Wherever I’m going isn’t as good a question as whenever I’m going to get there." Brilliant...as always.

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