Ryan Boyd Writes Poetry

Old Media.

Local Boy

The manuscript of Local Boy, that container of some published and many unpublished poems, is finished and will be making the rounds soon, but I haven’t updated any of the versions on this site. I will be doing that over the next couple of weeks. Until then, read at your own risk.

Real Estate

Tight and clean on the market
Or deserted for vacation or ditched
And given to moldy demolition,
Empty houses creak with being empty.

If I were such a home
I’d wanted to be flooded by a freak storm,
Colonized by possums,
Even hit by vandals, just for the company.

The Coin Dish

My dad, David, kept change in his
Michelangelo’s David dish:
The image glazed in the bottom had a blue
Tint, was blurred, but came through.

Quarters kept him decent—I would
Steal them for sodas when I could,
Exposing you, David, gentleman of slug-coiled
Hair and cobble belly, you standing tooth.

It’s risky to celebrate
Even a king’s things, let alone a plate
From the Wytheville Rose’s, but
Still, that cheap discus saves the date:

Dad gave me David before
I left for school, “Because to tell the truth
I never liked it.” Four
Months later a drunk friend threw

And shattered it. Which was fine,
Shit happens. I carry quarters in my pocket
Now, clinking like—not quite a sign—
Like I’ve stolen something back from time.

An Interruption

Somebody rang the bell—

The surgeon, I ran downstairs,
Dropping my instruments;

The athlete, I ran downstairs,
Thighs clotted to knots;

The cook, I ran downstairs,
My red roast still contracting;

The playwright, I ran downstairs,
Freezing a divorce;

The carpenter, I ran downstairs
In a suck of dust;

The fevered, I ran downstairs,
The doorway slid;

The printer, I ran downstairs,
The galleys rattled.

The child, I ran downstairs,
My book a broken moth;

The lover, I ran downstairs
Swinging my skin;

Owner of the house, I ran downstairs,
A contract must have come,

A woman in a sundress,
Her story half and poorly told.

Somebody rang the bell—
I ran, but they’d run off.

Primary Sources

When we were kids it was a feral den
in the middle of town, an igloo of brambles
and berry-twang for racing
box turtles, penning
the dodgeball losers, a lifeboat
for camp-out spooks.
Other kids had settled it:
we found their rusty Tonkas, a hammer,
strips of t-shirt tied in thornbows.
A hamster cage
of leaves, late summer got tacky
with exploded berries and quivering hornets,
winter did the snag to snow and cat hair,
but any weather I’d lie out
rehearsing, reading,
spot Mars, imagine wicked knots,
plan a grown-up house,
another giant overturned bird nest
full of kids and rigged
with busted light bulbs—
for luck before the SATs
I studied fractions in its basket,
saw it last when home from school,
owned by people who hadn’t chopped it,
whose kids squall down the caverns
sour with mulberry, I like to imagine.

The Manager on Vacation

The island sun is a nail gun
cruising a fry of chemicals,
cigarillos are white pins,
and daiquiris undergo desertification

down at the titration station
where I fill avocado hulls with bottle caps,
gorging on the heat,
tightening my hide.

I promised you stays, baby baby,
but my phone’s not on.
I seem to be in a rum commercial
on medicine shores

where surfboards lean in the glaze
like strips of fish,
and soft nature
palms another drink. I miss Boston.