Holding Back by Gabriel Ricard

I am distant,
and I’m not really up to anything
these days.

This gives me time to pay attention to the little things.
Choirs of ice cream vendors and museum tour guides
fighting for bells, postcards of oceanfront properties,
and all the rest of the stuff that dictates our weird,
insufferable, obnoxious dreams.

If I can stick to blood money cigarettes
and airplane bottles of something nameless and blameless,
I can probably make it to the revelation without offending anybody.

It better be good. It better be a lifetime of ideal book-of-the-month clubs
that stand tall, speak clearly, and make room for the people
who are going back to the basics of trusting me. And it better happen
in the time it takes me to climb the kind of long stairs
that break the guys and gals who don’t want to die on cruise liners.

What it can be, what I can accept,
O’Lord, oh please, oh please and thank you,
is music that scares me with its savage kindness.
Or someone who has been riding metro cars
from one city at the back of the world to the next.

It can be a ride with a sobbing, half-dead groomsman
that I started when I was nineteen, twenty,
and then decided to pause,
when I figured out that I’m going to be made
to bounce around the manic, unpleasant, hilarious
particulars of the narrative for the foreseeable future.

Something will rain down from the alleys of tornados
and cat-piss dancehalls soon. I believe this in the same way
that I believe in her small hands making repairs to my overweight heart.

I am closer to the hallucinatory celebration of any given moment
than I have ever been before. I’ll wake up, and I won’t be able to tell you
what might happen next, why these hotel room sheets smell like oranges,
or what we ought to do with the rest of our lives.

I’ll be confused, scared.
I’ll be pretty smart again.

Gabriel Ricard

Gabriel Ricard is a writer, editor, and occasional actor. He is a Film Editor with Drunk Monkeys, an editor with Kleft Jaw, and a featured contributor with Cultured Vultures. His book “Clouds of Hungry Dogs” is available at http://www.kleftjaw.com/shop and Amazon.com.

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