Poetry by Michael O’Ryan

broncosWoman; Punk Rock Incarnate

dim lights in a hot room one hundred denim
jackets and a whole lot of ire the band starts
playing vexed waves make for furious pools
blaring through the marshalls jackets move
now instinctually hard and fast and into and
out of each other I was chin checked during the
chorus about the trials of the human condition
and I saw her I was thrown into some reverie
by this raging, shining cynosure spitfire bodies
slow peripherally she was flowing and wailing to
the melodies of a train wreck and as her arms rose
her fingers twirled like magnolias in a mosh pit
I was convinced she was moving this way without
those easter pastel tablets that suspend serotonin
flood gates because it takes a fragile balance
between brutality and grace to find the rhythm
in someone else’s rage as opposed to your own.


Love Letter for a Sea Change
Put your manic ear to the television,
and you’ll hear several self-help
salesmen telling you to stop focusing
on the
rifts-

but I love you, schism between
vicious prairie
and empty doorframe.

This schism is a hand caressing
a banshee’s song that is melting
through the dissonance on a starry
night in the country one last time.

Some find darker waters easier to
tread.

Fuck picking up that telephone,
all the pretty synaptic misfires
are just a
sea change
away.


This Body Is A Cabin In The Middle Of Nowhere

I see broncos in the clouds-

cirrocumuli play phantasmagoria to my mind’s
fallacious whims. This body is a cabin in the

middle of nowhere, torn from stasis and reassembled
like a bucolic Frankenstein. My window-pane iris

filters an empty morning’s rising sun, leaving bedsheets
drenched in fuchsia. The wood-stove is cardiac in

nature and heated by a cerebral pyramid of xylem and
phloem that’s nearly burned out/washed up like a

message in a bottle written by an angry coward. Isn’t
it awful the way both fury and joy can thrive within

the boundary of a moment? Isn’t it amazing the way
Houston and Odessa are so apart, yell fall within

the boundary of the same state lines?  In the dead of night,
coyotes yip in the same moonlight that illuminates the

tears streaming down the face of an ill-starred cowboy in the
middle of something ugly- the same moonlight that was a

perfect segue into lying to someone I cared about; “Harmony,
I’m a different person now”, with as much conviction and

false prophecy as a child telling someone that no two
snowflakes are the same. There is a ghost in the

corner playing the piano, whose gorgeous skin is grazed
by auburn’s fade to black. My synapses writhe in

unison with the parallels between mirthless catharsis and the
inability to shatter wild horses. All of this disharmony

makes for my skull, pressured to crack like the moment a
gloved hand holds a railroad nail to cartoon porcelain.

-I see mustangs in the sky.


Michael is a film student perpetually working on poetry, short stories and a screenplay or two. You can usually find him out roaming through the woods of the Pacific Northwest, or at the local indie theater. His work has previously appeared in Building 45 Literary Journal.

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