Alveraz Ricardez lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
Only recently has he released his work into the wild. Several of his
poems have been accepted into various literary journals and magazines,
due out over the next few months. He is currently writing his first book
of poems and hopes to publish in December.

Pop's kitchen and the pea pardon

This man of gristle and iron sat across from me.
Now just a pile of uneven mud. His hair caked
back with pomade thick as Pennzoil;
his cracked brow furrowed like bad pottery.

I got a ten-spot says you can't bust those chops
with a jackhammer. He cleared his throat;
an instant reveille.

Holding that fork between his pudgy taters
struck a funny bone. An unconscious hum--
of Hank Williams edged from his leather lips
like a broke jukebox. I gotta split.

He poked at it; scratched his sandstone cheeks,
and one-eyed the last thing on his plate.
Intrigued by a natural frown gone deeper; I smile.

I tongue the last bit of squash from my teeth,
and stop in my tracks. Ever see a giant
struggle with a pea. I have, and it was the first time
in my life I felt sorry for the old bastard.

Death of birthday boy

Exhaust filled my nostrils, or was it his Old Spice.
A whirlwind of flannel and denim; frail in a wooden box
on cracked wheels, I was tethered to his iron horse:
a punished sailor trailing my captain by dingy.
Beneath that stoic beard was my father;
and coiled in this cart, his ten year old son.

His hand lifted; a sign to set anchor.
In the thick of a redwood he spotted our prey.
The ocean of foliage knelt before him;
lip curled, brow furrowed, he was man, I was son.

I followed his finger to a high branch.
A caramel-coated squirrel stretched under shade.
He winked, I smiled; my time had come. Crosshairs set,
he whispered, fire. I swallowed hard, set my heels.
I don't remember pulling the trigger--
or the sound of gunfire.

I only remember screams from the redwood above.
The bullets flew; her presence grew louder;
more shots would temper her cries,
and earn his love.

She held on by a nail, her honeyed coat
soaked red as my eyes. The final shot silenced her;
The pregnant squirrel that lay at our feet now,
bigger than my father.

Fistful of chips

Just trying to find
a little corner of the world;
somewhere for you
and I to share a beer.

Right here.
This is cool.
An underpass.
Smells like shit and urine;

Got an angle both ways for the cops.
I'll open yours, then mine.
I want you to talk to me right now,
more than ever.

Not many people knew-
it ain't fun getting blackjack
on every hand.
You did.

The great escape of '88

My ford was cooked and I was lost. I pulled
into the town of just swell. The ravine
of blue hair-conditioned tract homes
sucked what little smoke was left in my lungs.

A swarm of spider veined Reaganites walked the root-
cracked sidewalks. I was surrounded;
and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it.

I tempered my haste and weaseled my way
under the hood without alarming the natives.
Popped my Pabst and manned my block;
I whispered in her ear, I'll get you through this, baby.

I focused through the glare of tea jugs
and sun spotted legs in polyester socks.
I'll be damned if that fucking poodle
wasn't as smug as its leash holding grin;
but who was I to judge.

The miles of coiled green hose on saturated lawns
twisted my gut something fierce. The sound
of pimpled larvae tugging at the teats of stepfords
caused a painful twitch in my cock.

I polished my baby just right and dropped the hood;
pounded the gas and left grease in my wake.
The zombies in my rearview were frozen in defeat;
I beat them perfect and victory was mine.

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