Ryan Boyd Writes Poetry

Old Media.

Koreatown, La Iglesia Pentecostes

Olive-sour streets
Root-heaved and wrecked,
A kennel of cups
And bottles, years of engine leaks—
Gold weeks supposed to come
Flinging love down all the alleys,
Till then faith’s meat
And uncorrected galleys.


Better Hope So

I want Death to find me planting my cabbages.

Had I the druthers
that nobody does
I’d fall out working the garden,
struck amid new carbon
then maybe jailed a day or two
by modern powers,
charts and prickling tubes
all shock-hearted, code blue.

No way I want the time
to calibrate goodbyes
for that suggests a long decay
before departure day.
There’s worse than leaving those
projects you had going, and going
out in your normal clothes,
barely knowing.

New Countries for Old Men

At twenty-five I wrote down both
my grandfathers’ deaths,
one real, one soon, the old man
looked that pale.
Now I’m thirty-four
and Dad’s dad hangs on, sanded down
by dementia, conversant but largely gone
into the mountains of his past,
no memory of the recent call
or breakfasts through a tube,
the pages working loose
from his mind’s spine,
all the text of ninety years,
raised in a cabin by a coal-seam creek
in Depression West Virginia,
fading with ISIS blasting tweets
and the whole family going,
Granddad, Granddad, it’s me, it’s me . . .

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The manuscript of Local Boy, that container of some published and many unpublished poems, is finished and will be making the rounds soon, but I haven’t updated any of the versions on this site.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.