krupa 2016
How to Get Lost, Anywhere, Anytime, for No Reason
        How in the world did a person get to be where i was?
                                    Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible
by Ed Ruzicka

Start where streets
that run East-West
radiate off a river so old
it dodders between banks
that loop and rope at their leisure
or off a coast line of Ss and Cs.

Maybe this city’s or that’s
cross streets fall across one another
in an abandoned game of pickup sticks.
Follow your feet. Now evening
can tune its orchestra up while
the maestro waits in the wings.

Sunset glazes shop windows.
Doors three inches thick. Faint
hiss of neon. A dog pees. A horn blasts.

Assume that comes from the harbor.
Walk that way though alleys become
fly-blown and loose fists of men idle
in front of stoops and broken fence lines.

Come out in a small park freckled
with palm trees. Listen to pigeons
whose language can seem closer
to yours than what the locals mutter.

On the other side is the river.
Its traffic churns sluggishly,
as if already wheeling towards sleep
while stars start to prick black air.

PHOTO: The Bicycle, the hat, and the moon by Alfred Freddy Krupa (2016), used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I went through a period when I was penniless by romantic decree, needed naught but tin cans in the cupboard, fathered insubstantial plans. For wheels, I had a fearless J. C. Higgins bike. That is when I developed a knack for getting lost. If curiosity lends you nine lives, cash in. I don’t think you can really learn a city or a countryside without getting lost. If I once, twice, thrice, in countless places, took pleasure in the openness of an afternoon, please, don’t blame me now, half-retired and back at it. My wife and I soak up what quiet we can on a patio that backs-up to the rest of the world.

Pirate's Cove paint_copyedit copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ed Ruzicka has published widely including two full length books of poetry. His recent issue, My Life in Cars, is a sort of tell-all-tale in which freedom marries the American highway. Ed began working in his father’s Rexall drugstore at age eight. He became unmoored from Illinois cornfields in 1970 and has traveled widely. He worked as a deckhand, short order cook, oil-field roughneck, tree trimmer, welder’s assistant, barge cleaner, social worker, and more. He settled in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he practices Occupational Therapy and lives with his kind wife, Renee. Visit him at edrpoet.com.