Kevin Ridgeway is the author of Too Young to Know (Stubborn Mule Press) and nine chapbooks of poetry including Grandma Goes to Rehab (Analog Submission Press, UK). His work can recently be found in Slipstream, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Plainsongs, San Pedro River Review, The Cape Rock, Trailer Park Quarterly, Main Street Rag, Cultural Weekly and The American Journal of Poetry, among others. He lives and writes in Long Beach, CA.
the lunch lady has a head of hair like Harpo Marx, so I call her Harpo, which always makes her smile as she shows me her tots
MANIC DEPRESSION IS CAPTURING MY SOUL
I bleed silent music from my trembling fingers unable to reach people who became too frustrated with this mess to help me out of it anymore, but they can all still hear me even when they don’t see my face as it kisses the air in front of me, alone since my mother’s own crescendos led to her early grave, a grave I want to grow too old and wise enough to share with her and all the other brilliants kids who never learned how to shine their own inner lights to lead a more righteous path where they were no longer misunderstood.
MAYBE EVERYTHING THAT DIES SOMEDAY COMES BACK
Justine put the music on blast and wrapped her arms around me in a beautiful, after-work wine drunk slur. She told me it was our new theme song, a hard grit spirit to fight off the demons who've haunted us over a twenty year friendship, and after not seeing one another for a decade where when we gained, lost and got ourselves back up again, having survived the good fight of hearts unbroken, glimmer twins who come from the dead every single time to tell the tale and wait for the fallen angels to join us in our swank mosh pit, no longer trapped in the gutters and slums of the blue collar world we stepped away from. She whispered in my ear words written in the same kind of isolation where the grim pallor of my melancholic grief caused my spiritual death, one I was revived, from that night when Justine gave me enough strength to start wrestling myself from ghosts who kept me away from her and my other friends as she welcomed me back.