Gabriel Ricard writes, edits, and occasionally acts. He writes a monthly column called Captain Canada’s Movie Rodeo at Drunk Monkeys, as well as a monthly called Make the Case with Cultured Vultures.
His 2015 poetry collection Clouds of Hungry Dogs is available from Kleft Jaw Press, while his 2017 novel Bondage Night is available through Moran Press. Recent releases include A Ludicrous Split (Alien Buddha Press/Split chapbook with Kevin Ridgeway) and Love and Quarters (Moran Press).
His newest book, the short story collection The Oddities on Saturday Night, is available now from Moran Press. A new horror fiction collection entitled Benny the Haunted Toymaker is his newest book.
He is also a writer and performer with Belligerent Prom Queen Productions, currently working on a follow-up to their 2016 immersive theater show Starman Homecoming. His movie podcast The Hounds of Horror, co-hosted with an actual man from Florida named Chris Bryant, is currently in its second season.
Gabriel currently lives on Long Island with his wife, four crazed ferrets, and an inability to stop ordering delivery. He watches way too many movies, spent tens of thousands of miles on Greyhound, and has somehow also worked (or tried to) in fields such as radio, theater, and standup.
I Get Around, January 1989
My father never asked Jesus to take the wheel, and even if you’re not particularly religious, I feel like you have to admit there might be something wrong with a person who never wanted to be helped, unless he could screw them over first. If he had ever asked for actual help, even of someone who might just be a PR firm’s warrior wizard mascot from the vast temples of an ideal universe, he may have had a better track record with the open road, assorted 3 AM trips to the middle of fucking nowhere in fucking British Columbia, and drinking coffee in the depths of the godless and endless woods, while he thought about his family, and the odd course of events that brought him to the end of the 80s. A couple of years from that point, when I’m absolutely convinced that elementary school is going to last for the rest of my life, and I’m as far away as possible from wanting to listen to the Beach Boys in his piece of shit truck, as we’re driving to wherever he’s going to go to steal from the local logging companies, everything will change for him, as well. Then, as now, and this assumes he hasn’t died, or found the flying saucers I was convinced I saw four years to the day from that morning of January 1989, he didn’t have a knack for momentum. Or the bare minimum. Or letting someone else do the driving, when he was too tired to remember he wasn’t some scared, ugly teenager in the hopeless, open spaces of rural Quebec. Nonetheless, at least as far as the beginning of 1989 was concerned, I was still looking forward to any car ride where it was just the two of us. We didn’t just listen to the Beach Boys either. Moe loved The Steve Miller Band. For almost a full decade, my first one, I did, too.
The Execution of All Things, October 2009
I do the same thing. I get lonely, too. What I can promise is that I won’t blame you. Never ever. Not in the present. Not in my memories. Not even in any books or poems I’ll eventually have to write in what I define as my spare time. They tell me that this is the best way to live through your 20s. Spending time with people you can’t stand. Taking it out on them. Writing about it. Barring that, you settle for the kind of brutality that makes old bitchy men from the 1940s flinch. Because goddamn, kid. If you can’t stand each other, why are you fucking around at the movies? What’s with groping each other at The Gap? Why are you at The Gap? Vodka and Extasy are not an excuse. Neither is loneliness. I know all of that. I’m in my 20s. I just don’t care. Even when that changes, the way it generally did for all my lovesick, idiotic, chemically fragile heroes, I’m still not going to care. At 20, I’m not smart. At 25, I’m also still not good at planning ahead. At 26, 27, I fully expect to become a dead-end caricature creature feature of restless and reckless habits well beyond my 30s. To the point where it moves seamlessly with the routine of ignoring absolutely everyone, taking the garbage out, and crossing the street in a labored hurry. I don’t blame you for getting lonely. I’m already proud of you for being someone who will immediately do even slightly better than me. You will, wherever you are in New Mexico, Texas, Virginia. Etc. Like me, and how we waste our time, together and/or reasonably apart, most things shall pass. Obviously, this is somewhat dependent upon letting them. But that’s where your frustration and disappointment and pity will make you brave.
When I Grow Up, March 1999
A giant juggernaut of moving quickly, refusing to keep my hands calm and willing to reflect patience like lightning with a personal crusade against some dupe with a personal relationship to god. I just told jokes, and I didn’t feel like stopping you from treating me like a good friend who could have at least said something about liking you a little bit more. It bothered me. Obviously and especially when you wanted me to help you pick out an outfit for a guy who was at least a little more masculine than I thought I needed to be. It shouldn’t have bugged me, but it did, but it also didn’t really get to me to the point of the kind of trauma that you see from people who live and breathe and die lonely protecting their interpretation of a shallow man’s cosmic wargames. I was almost fourteen, so there was something to be said for your chubby, beautiful body flying through outfits. Your hands were so flawless at manipulating the world of dresses, tops, and crucial perspectives, I stared at them as much as anything. Your whole body was beautiful, and I was aware of that. Of course I was. But it was also just good to be around you. I honestly thought we’d see each other more.