“Not The Devil’s Throat” by Gabriel Ricard


You could find a good view of the lake around here,
even though Downtown Baltimore is troublesome
during a heatwave.
You could watch the way they built Las Vegas
in about an hour from the top of a small mountain
in Pennsylvania.

Any way you think you’re looking at it,
we’re talking about a very complicated approach to bad dancing
in someone else’s impossibly comfortable tap shoes.

Imagine learning to drive a car with six cracked ribs,
nine high-luxury concussions, and a thumb that your idiot cousin
sewed on backwards. Imagine the reality some people suggest
of getting to safety in a heavenly valley of angry wasps’ nests,
in which you have to die,
or maybe join a religion that works closely
with handsome bastard statues.

Imagine the people who tell you
that you can go to sleep,
figure all of this out,
but never wake up reliable gravity or a straightforward
timeline ever again.

None of it is true.
There is no such thing as a universal moral.
There is a reason why all of this strikes you
as being weird for the sake of weird.

We’re not accomplishing anything here.
We’re just talking. We’re playing poker in the storage room
of an insignificant bakery in that Wyoming town
we talked about all the time,
after we got back from that favor we did for someone.

While we’re at it,
we’re carrying friends and lucky strangers
through the hallways of the hotels that are waiting
backstage to be taken to the next editing room
in the bathroom of a double-decker tour bus.

Then I’m in the recliner at six in the morning,
drinking whatever adds gentle scratches
to the character I want to be,
and you’re rolling around in bed
with somebody who wants to build
a private hospital room with a series of yellow cabs.

While we’re at it,
the view of the airport is something else,
and I’m going to sleep for a year after breakfast,
with very little to show for all these brilliant ideas.


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 on Kleft Jaw Press  and Amazon.