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