Ryan Eckes

past a point, all the old radio jingles. everybody who knows / goes /

to melrose. elbows, everything’s a rebound, reaching over her to

smack the SNOOZE. i mean all of you, as i lean on the counter, walk

down the street, and do dishes. i mean on the counter, mean down

the street, and mean dishes. mashed potatoes.  all the movements

of my body, another sip of coffee, and you all in that. my lips closed

plans in the snow, fell from a tree. i let the place be the place, keep

being the thing. this can’t have been the place, my skin tells against

the trill cry of a kid that circles my walk, cinching the houses, hoodies

on the corner. the corner’s had enough, mind split as light by window

pane in opposite directions—retreat and research. in the pane, long

nightmare of self. i am too. i am not enough. and in passing, my own

mother, would you look at that, who i’ve run from all this time, as

prescribed, and the splintered minutes of presence the skin recalls

and means. i let my kid sip beer out of the caps, too, and flick them

across the kitchen, which i will paint blue with him.




Putting You On

ted greenwald sits on the tv
in the picture
a clean glass of orange juice
in one hand
other hand in the other world
he says it’s common sense
come on
hardwood sleeves rolled up
floors        finishing books
the finish invades the prerogative
of heaven        which is green
nothing happens there
a prayer        a prayer        nobody
recites        keep god out
of the whitehouse
the president’s black and
white prayers flit about him
like bats        which are blind
and he ignores them        sort of

thank god        thank god for ted

greenwald and thomas paine

and our smart black president       

wouldn’t it be funny if we put

them on the money        let’s

put them on the money





Tom Paine on the Jack of Spades

i am too big to fail

the cops are babies

in the rain

cried out

posters ripped

off telephone poles

on the way to cvs

or acme or rita’s—

you had your whiz

now get your

water ice


the new york shuffle

will always be older

than new york

an unmarked club

is throwing a boss

out the window

like a party

their yankees

a graveyard

cut from a stem


neighbors complain

of hands

there’s nobody

to clock

til jack makes jokes

about vietnam

is he allowed

is he the boss

of vietnam

who be my own boss

who be my own police


who spraypaints a middle

finger on the wall

and who smooths it

roughly into a peace

sign before the giant

frank rizzo mural

is repainted over it

by a giant club

of jackass