Riding Out the Night

by Sergio Ortiz
Wild Poetry Forum
Third Place, June 2014
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


It’s never good enough
for her. She analyzes my images,
line breaks, my intent. I call her,
Mrs. God; a head bobbing above
ash-colored waves. She’s always
baking pies to leave alone
on some windowsill. When she fucks me
she still doesn’t speak, for speech
is creation. But I rock and roll inside
her like a dream. Sometimes I forget,
let slide my grasp and the colors
that cover me. That’s when she
starts to smoke her pipe, and read
and read, and read out loud
to the children that come around
to steal the pies. Terrible things
happen. Angels shed their feathers,
and prophets go nuts. I am always safe.
I clutch a spar, a barrel, an oar,
and ride out the night with it.


Someone once referred to “writing about writing” as poetic incest. And that version of verse does too often veer toward navel-gazing mediocrity. However this poem is saved from that with its sarcastic surrealism (I call her,/Mrs. God; a head bobbing above /ash-colored waves.) and the equally sardonic sexuality of “When she fucks me/she still doesn’t speak, for speech/is creation.” It’s a funny, mordant piece reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s best mid-Sixties work. --R.T. Castleberry

  • February 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      My Beautiful Body
      by Mary MacGowan
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Chickadee
      by Allen M. Weber
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Foliose
      by Peter Halpin
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Only the Good Things
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

  • January 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      consider crossing
      by Allen M. Weber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Blast
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Third Place

      The Elucidating Imbecility
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Honorable Mention

      Love Letters
      by K.R. Copeland
      The Waters