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

  • May2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Burying My Brother
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Second Place

      The Asian man who walks past the balcony
      by Daniel J. Flore III
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Five Hundred Yards from Home
      by Richard Moorhead
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • April 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      In the next life we were married
      by Ken Brownlow
      The Waters

      Second Place

      To a Wayward Son
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Separation
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block