Ryan Eckes

Ryan Eckes lives in South Philadelphia. He’s the author of Valu-Plus (Furniture Press, 2014) and Old News (Furniture Press, 2011). Recent poetry can be read in Tripwire, The Brooklyn Rail, Sugar Mule, and The William & Mary Review. He is the recipient of a 2016 Pew Fellowship in the Arts.

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bad form

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99.9 percent of people eat their own god
but there’s no word for it
because you keep checking your phone
how long have you worked
in this blue
who makes the decisions
in your blue
how much does the blue pay
why does your coke taste like
blood
what disrupts the illusion
if not the word “illusion”
which lulls us to sleep
it’s all a bag of flowers
i grab a flower and brush the present
off my teeth
hillary clinton wants to be president
today
what are you going to do
you can’t recall a knockoff
it’s just a knockoff
in the united states of knockoff
you lost me at “i was born in . . .”
the block was blocked off
the cop said “i knew your dad back when”
and quoted us most of the collected everyone
“slavery is necessary,” he said, “that’s why
i’m voting for hillary”
then wiped his ass w/ a cat
and threw it at us
that’s the god of life
just like you
on may day working
for the national poem
called “isolated consciousness looks at a tree”
at 6pm i went to lucky 13
drank nine blue coats
put a five on the bar
and walked out
bad form
bad form
gina had my back
paid the tab
said read “a broken world”
by joseph lease
an elegy for a friend
the opposite of a scab
in trust of death
a blackout is a small strike
don’t make me make
meaning
don’t make me walk out
the blue
of all time
after eating love
i will eat love again
my skin will be water
as yours
faith in rain
as rain and rain
as more than
love
don’t make me
make words
for a solidarity
that works
so we all show up
as the tree yawning
down the isolated consciousness
of ernest hemingway
his knockoff armies
who will fight
for the wounded hero
in a pool of everyone else’s blood
waving a flag of dicks
until the box office explodes
and all is profile pic
“what’s on your mind?”
not you
and not you
and not you
and nothing
a bag of flowers
a block of us
talking to a hole
in the sky
the sky is scratched
nothing’s crossed out
the cd plays
disparate youth
it skips
it’s still good w/ the skips

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christening

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tired of songs
you show up in a true story
like a fist
the corner needs
& the corner needs
a new stop sign
so the city
which is two hired men
come to change it
& in that bare minute
they retire the old
sign to their truck
a little dog comes along
& takes a quick piss
on the new one
right where it says
ALL WAY
and trots off

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chase scene
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we’re in toon town. gag orders pause a judge up the creek
like a FREE sign taped to garbage. your life is whose? the trees
sneeze and cough, we’re all dirty water, minor poets. it’s a
certain kind of person expects to be cleaned up after—every
body, anybody lurching for the jackpot. i hit it, jessica rabbits
hop all over me, make one great jessica rabbit. in her mouth
all weeks leak out thighs for sleep, no wait. rent paid then
monday heaves, shucks hi and this malaise you’ll forget—now,
which could be anything—amargi, sumerian word for freedom,
return to mother, literally. you die, love, whatever, still my
friends are buildings. they fight off despair all the time, all the
time. in their bricks heat of sadness of capitalism, god! fuck it—
to the beaches, the look of beaches in our faces, okay—zero
killed—oceans, oceans, oceans—down to earth, earth, earth—

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