2 Poems by Ryan Rader

Apr 20th, 2008 | By | Category: Poetry


Today I noticed that

Pencils don’t bleed, and if they did

We would have cardboard hospitals
filled with number two’s and sharpeners

Would surely be outlawed, especially

Those torturous cranks screwed into classroom walls.
I figured that erasers would be sold

As hats, but the longer pink rubbery monsters
would be for the most self-conscious of carbons.
I learned that pencil funerals would be cheap, just bury them

In the ground they came from next to their

Maple parents, shove them in that dirt as far as

You can and leave. I knew that the trees would mourn
their exsanguinated children and shed their leaves

To cover the slender corpses covered in teethmarks like proud scars.

I discovered that we would celebrate these forsaken pencils every year in October by

Wearing that wooden orange color, a testament

To the courageous pencils that have been squeezed and

Throttled by the hands of vicious poets. I noticed all this because
my pen ran out of ink.


I Have Been Slapped in the Face by God

I have been slapped in the face by God
but it was in jest, I suspect
Unlike my father slapping me when I said

“Bastard” at age six
or whenever that girl from school gets knocked up, you know her

Or when she got married, when





Or when my Pomeranian died,

the dog next door was slapping me, not the almighty backhand

that I felt yesterday morning, and this morning
He strikes in the morning, like hangovers and hot breath
At night he leaves me alone, just watching, waiting

for me to sleep, reaching his infinite arm back, bending his omniscient elbow

and my skin is red and sore from those glowing hands, but he’s smiling because

hey, He’s God, and
I dream of a time when my Pomeranian runs around the church, trying to eat

the rice thrown at me and my wife and the girl we both know
She is single and virginal and definitely not invited to the reception because I will be drinking, and I can’t control myself even though I just got married and my Pomeranian just lost all respect for me and–

Jesus Christ, where is this going?

I thought this was my dream–

oh hell my dad just showed up, he can’t see this, don’t let him see this, and he and the dog are fucking pissed off and why am I getting married in a church? I don’t–

9:30 AM


Ryan J. Rader is a mediocre student in the equally mediocre city of Muncie, Indiana. His poetry has been compared favorably to the works of Parliament Funkadelic and Black Flag. He writes at ryanjrader.blogspot.com.

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