Jason Ryberg


for Mike James

It’s bitter and drizzling out there, today,
the sky somewhere between
gun-metal and slate, 

and the wind is only making things worse, 
as far as I’m concerned, with the way it’s been 
knocking the house around for hours now 
like it was trying to get information out of it 
or something,

or attempting to bully / bum-rush its way in 
and bring all its rowdy hoodlum friends in with it 
for a good, old-fashioned knock-down, drag-out, 
wang-dang-doodle of a time.

But I’m of no mind for that kind of nonsense 
and Tom-foolery, tonight, no sir; 

I got a single-malt scotch on the rocks,
I got Chopin’s nocturnes twirling around the room,
I got a real nice fire going, finally, and
the latest Lee Child and shit is just now 
starting to get good.

Jason Ryberg is the author of thirteen books of poetry, six screenplays, a few short stories, a box full of folders, notebooks and scraps of paper that could one day be  (loosely) construed as a novel, and, a couple of angry  letters to various magazine and newspaper editors. He is currently an artist-in-residence at both The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s and the Osage Arts Community, and is an editor and designer at Spartan Books. His latest collection of poems is The Ghosts of Our Words Will Be Heroes in Hell (co-authored with Damian Rucci, John Dorsey, and Victor Clevenger, OAC Books, 2020). He lives part-time in Salina, KS with a rooster named Little Red and a billy goat named Giuseppe and part-time somewhere in the Ozarks, near the Gasconade River, where there are also many strange and wonderful woodland critters.