Two Poems by Vince Reighard

Apr 20th, 2019 | By | Category: Poetry

Caricature Artists and Primal Fear

I had my caricature drawn at the theme park once
and the artist—sixteen, seventeen, maybe—
hands me back this sketch of Charlie Brown.

I look it over a moment, think “. . . the fuck . . .?”
and eventually say: “Really? Even the yellow shirt
with the black squiggly line? Look at my shirt:

my shirt is red.” And he gives me this blank,
underpaid teenager look, and says, “I just draw it
like I see it, man” before blowing this tremendous

pink bubble with his gum, and just before I can
jab my finger forward to pop it, he gives it a
crack! that resounds like a shotgun blast over

a snow-covered clearing.

                                                          — Okay, that didn’t happen,

but I dreamt it;
okay, I didn’t dream it, but I should have,
if our dreams are really as telling as we believe,

and they don’t come down to the same old tropes:
hair falling out by the fistful, crumbling teeth, or
walking down the hallway stark-buck naked. I’m sick

of these tepid rehashings of primal fears. Come on,
subconscious, you can do better; give me, as the
New York Times said of a recent film,

“. . . a nuanced exploration of existential terror.”

Myers & Briggs

“I think you may be anti-social, Vincent,”
says Mrs. Baga, my third grade teacher,
with touching concern.

“How come?” I ask, looking up at her
with big child’s eyes.

“Well,” she began, “under
‘what is your dream job?’ you wrote:
‘reading all day in an isolated cabin.'”


Vince Reighard lives in Central Indiana, where he is currently hard at work on three novels simultaneously, because why not? He has worked at a vineyard in Oregon, floated down the Guadalupe River in Texas, and gone on an archaeological dig in Rome. He is blessed in friendship and matrimonially lucky. His ambitions are to one day have lunch with the writer on Tina Fey’s shows who comes up with all the Frasier references, and to write something that makes someone else as happy as the song “You Me and the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight” makes him.

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