Kathleen Reichelt + Rich Ferguson

Florida Man

Florida man convicted of strangling common sense. Florida man arrested for building a meth lab in an Applebee’s parking lot. Florida man tattoos Bozo on his cheek in order to face his fear of clowns. Florida man apprehended for making a sex tape with himself in Taco Bell drive-thru. Florida man sentenced to life for trying to smuggle the apocalypse across state lines. Florida man jailed for performing botched and unnecessary castration surgery on Ken doll in Walmart toy aisle. Florida man caught cultivating the world’s smallest crop of marijuana on the head of a pin where angels once danced.
When Called in For Questioning
When asked about the scars around your lips, tell them you were speaking peace in a shattered-glass world. When asked about employment, say you are a wound collector on the broken frontier. As for where you reside, tell them your heart is equidistant from joy & suffering, the now & never, the sweet flower & the Hiroshima cloud. Regarding why you say the things you say, tell them the full moon is in your mouth. When asked about the ghosts behind your eyes, say you occasionally spend too much time thinking about who you are to become, rather than whom you are supposed to be. As for why some leave the world too soon, tell them death’s reflexes are sometimes quicker than prayer.
A Man, a Megaphone, a Lonely Room
Anyone who is allergic to intimacy or has maintained a love/hate relationship with Mr. Rogers. Those who’ve used a weedwhacker to eliminate the dark and overgrown areas of a once-clean conscience. Anyone who has mistakenly said “premature ejaculation” instead of “premeditated adoration.” Those who’ve painted their mirrors black. Whose metal hip screws have set off security alarms at CVS. All whose paychecks have evaporated like the most recent L.A. rains. Women who’ve considered shaving their heads and joining the convent. Men who’ve considered shaving their heads when going bald. Anyone who has played a six-string while using a live grenade as a guitar slide. Those who’ve recently made a new friend or connection online or standing on line, waiting to get into a supermarket or hospital emergency room. For those dying on the streets, in homes, hospices, or remote villages a world away. For anyone whose heart is breaking. For anyone whose heart is healing. Blueprint For a Better World
Cars will run on poems, prayers, and the courage of Sojourner Truth. All guns and assault weapons transformed into high-powered Pez dispensers. The NRA has changed its name to the NEA. Birdhouses will be built atop gravestones. Gardens planted in the hearts of the lonely. Lightning bug halos for everyone. Earthquakes, tornadoes, and wildfires take anger-management classes. Dogs and cats call a lasting truce. Rainbows donate their colors to the severely depressed. There’ll be a cross fertilization of dreams, free speech, and the almighty dollar— a new currency we can exchange through liplock. In utopia’s dance hall, we’ll be non-stop bump and grind music; an exhilarating hectic electric flowing through our veins. When we touch radios, light bulbs, and guitar amps, they’ll come alive. There’ll be dependable road signs along the highways of our minds. Clarity and foresight will be dressed in easy-to-spot, polka-dot blazers, placed at every entrance and exit ramp to ambivalence and obscurity. All mirrors will reflect our inner beauty; our sweet-cheeked, moon-eyed, push-button perfection. The very air we breathe will never be used against us in the court of life. All our burdens, and regrets; paragraphs of scattered thoughts. We’ll edit one another down until we’re naked and radiant. Our glowing bones, the blueprint for a better world. Pushcart Prize-nominated poet Rich Ferguson has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, Moby, and other esteemed poets and musicians. Ferguson has been selected by the National Beat Poetry Foundation, Inc. (NBPF), to serve as the State of California Beat Poet Laureate (Sept. 2020 to Sept. 2022). He is a featured performer in the film, What About Me? featuring Michael Stipe, Michael Franti, k.d. lang, and others. His poetry and award-winning spoken-word music videos have been widely anthologized, and he was a winner in Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Match, L.A. He is the author of the poetry collection, 8th & Agony (Punk Hostage Press), and the novel, New Jersey Me (Rare Bird Books). Ferguson’s newest poetry collection, Everything is Radiant Between the Hates, will be published in January 2021 by Moon Tide Press. Kathleen Reichelt is a visual artist, writer and performer for stage and film. Her images have been published in Maintenant, Paris Lit Up, Arteidolia and have been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. Her work reflects an ongoing exploration of contemporary themes and forms. With a background in Cultural Studies, and an ongoing pursuit of philosophy, she is compelled to communicate with the puzzles, pluralism and thinking that art provokes.    
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