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  November 2013
volume 10 number 2
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  contributing poets
  Lynn Albanese
  Jonathan Beale
  Michael Caylo-Baradi
  Charles Claymore
  Christiane Con√©sa-Bostock
  Flavia Cosma
  Gareth Davies
  Diane Dehler
  Maurice Devitt
  Tyler Dupuis
  Sabrina Edwards
  Neil Ellman
  R.M. Engelhardt
  Rebecca Gimblett
  Jeffrey Graessley
  John Grey
  James Hall
  A J Huffman
  Lee Mason
  Deborah McCreath-Akbar
  Tom O'Reilly
  Angel Uriel Perales
  Frank Praeger
  Kevin Ridgeway
  Walter Ruhlmann
  Howard Sage
  John Saunders
  Allen Taylor
  Sarah Thursday
  Philomena van Rijswijk
  Daniela Voicu
  mailing list
Kevin Ridgeway
November 2013



art by paradoxius

    Kevin Ridgeway is the author of Too Young to Know (Stubborn Mule Press, 2019). Recent work has appeared in Slipstream, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, and The American Journal of Poetry. He lives and writes in Long Beach, CA.



Above the Rubble

When I was thirteen years old, my older brother
moved out of the house; before he boarded that
Greyhound bus to his freedom in the American
south, he took me on a walk through our old
neighborhood. We saw all of the couches
resting on overgrown lawns while stepping
over the shattered glass of a million half-drunk
beer bottles, the cracked pavement stained by
amber ale and vomit. We walked around the
parameter of this lower class wasteland and saw
the empty strip malls playing host to drug deals,
insane homeless men living in shopping carts
and aimless gang-bangers smoking speed in
parked cars; my brother told me that we both
had to get out of this place and never look back.

He never returned to live in the mire of the
old neighborhood. I managed to get away long
enough to see the world and ruin my early adult life
and was dragged back to this place kicking
and screaming. Iím still stuck here, eternally
in between trains. As I sit here on the front
patio of my childhood home polishing off a
cup of instant coffee and extinguishing my
cigarette on the asphalt, gunshots in the distance
and police helicopters hovering above, I close
my eyes and dream myself far away from this
cul de sac of evolving monstrosities. I dream
of it being torched to the ground and replaced
by a green field of endless trees I can run
toward my wildest dreams over and never
look back again in anger.

copyright 2013 Kevin Ridgeway