Poetry Collection by Jon Riccio

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Sylvia Browne Speaks From the Beyond

Call me fraud.

I inhaled worse on the ashram.


Slander my instincts.

I sipped harsher ambrosia.


Debunk my wavelength.

I out-thrived gurus with sage and a SAG card.


Malign my gift.

It exceeded concession.


Lambast my hunches.

I kept skeptics bemused.


Deny my visions.

They were clairvoyant to a rasp.


Prove me false.

I succored every vibe.


Shun my methods.

Interpretation’s in the eye of the 800-number.


Downgrade my whim.

Your past life paid for my first-class.


Dispel my Nostradamus.

Anyone can do tabloids, honey.

Miss Cleo psyched out at pay-per-view.

I was where talk shows and prophecy met,

audiences dining from the Celestine of my palm.


Bowling Alley –

Chagrin Falls, Ohio

We lost pastime’s extra T to a strike-slicked lane,

our laces counting down the mouth of a seven-ten

split needing a three-finger mint like a score sheet


marking up the wrong Saturday night, the alley

an auction house gone to a Sadie Hawkins of smoke

staking its claim on the soda machine’s rain.


I joined a league of asphalt layers, flannel showing

in our shadows, one blue collar constructing the next.

Families of turnpikes, foremen in a pin factory giving


pep talks to ten sets headed for the plywood brink –

think of us as the sum of semis and a tri-frame strike,

strike, strike, bowler’s math carried past the tollbooths,


miles, and pension. Hurl that everyman globe. Own

that stretch between spare and shellac as if all the world’s

leisure were sealed in the launch code of your wrist.


Aim for that stockade of stripes, milk-bottle mimes

the flavor of ashtray air caroused by so many highwaymen

before, who perfected the distance between pave and release.

johnriccioJon Riccio studied viola performance at Oberlin College and the Cleveland Institute of Music. A PhD candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers, forthcoming poems appear in Corvus Review, Jazz Cigarette, and Vine Leaves Literary Journal. He received his MFA from the University of Arizona.

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