Ryan Scariano is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Smithereens, published by
Imperfect Press, and Not Your Happy Dance, forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.
Some of his recent poetry has appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Rock &
, Phantom Drift, basalt, DASH, and Bright Bones: Contemporary Montana Writing.
He has an MFA from Eastern Washington University and works at Eastern Oregon
University, where he coordinates the tutoring program and teaches First Year Experience
courses for underprepared students. www.ryanscariano.com


Yet, sullied so
Easily, the faint saint's dampened
Light—a somersault, head between
Legs—becomes the sinner's bright serenity. I cry
Out wildly with reason, cry out with envy,
With an emperor's impetuousness.

Irish Whiskey

In medias res—everything forgotten. Not that
Right now you're living in the moment. More like right now
It's difficult to even piss. You're forward then backward,
Slow motion time-traveling. Now you're stuck
Head-first in the middle ages. Tonight, you're a copper still.

Who are you talking to? Your
Hot whisper. This tavern sloshes like a half-empty glass.
It's difficult to even smoke. You're nothing to apologize for.
Slurred spit. It's difficult to even walk, your kindness taxed off
Kilter. You're a small pot spilling fury. Your fucking
Echo. Tonight, you can't even remember why
You're guilty.


Perfectly match your lust to my eyeshadow.
Unnecessary fantasy, maximum brightness, in praise of
Rarity, privilege, price, the expense borne in my bruises.
Promise you'll harvest the fruit of my pulpy lips, and I'll
Let fall my robes of light, let shine my dark night,
Erase the boundary and let flow my starry wine.


Remember, I harmonize the paradox of
Extremes, my satisfaction measured in
Deep insight and degrees of darkness.

Back to Front.