Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kevin Ridgeway - One Poem

Now in Glorious Technicolor!

She dances a fragile frantic waltz,
her knees quivering in and screaming out
as the chain linked turntable speakers crackle
out songs from the older, weirder America
of bloodshed behind smiling cartoon iconography
and soft shoe starvation emitting demons
from the pores of our dusty predecessors
and the atomic bombs her parents
and my grandparents
hidden behind closed doors.

The dance floor is a continent of yellow shag
jetting out and massaging
the spaces in between our bare toes,
the dark voice wailing from the grooves
of the vinyl croaked by blinding moonshine
followed by the pale yodels of ghosts,
faded pangs from eroded history,
you can hear the wood bend, thump and break
in this bellyaching acoustic grief.

She jerks and jostles as I steady her
in my mannequin arms.
We’ve run away from home
on a boxcar of modern day hobo irony
to a shady California bungalow
draped in tweed and flannel,
costumes stolen from fashion plates
rolling in their pioneer graves.
Her brand new anklet glimmers in
our black and white frame
surrounded by homeless old books
and cats with opium gazes.

The record ends,
a carnival packed up and smoldering out of town,
one drunken collective sea of long dead voices
running on recorded fumes;
the decadent lights and barks fading in the distance,
these long gone lonesome voices
eclipse all that is being unspoken by the living
as we wait for the next miracle
of outdated multimedia time travel
to whisk us away again
from the falsehood of this gutless
contemporary non-fiction.

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