What I love about Ryan's poetry his voice, which sounds like him talking, but tuned and turned. It is subtle and often unsung art how daily speech can be musical. Ryan's work balances with such ease minutely observed detail, political reality, wry self-reflection, anecdote and surreal humor in a way that appears deceptively effortless and light. Although emotionally subdued, Valu-Plus leaves me deeply emotional, without knowing exactly how or why, or what I am feeling.
If you want to know your city better, I highly recommend this book." What a great recommendation! Check out Mel's work too!
art as experience
in passing john calls john dewey j-dew, which makes everything infinitely more watchable. go phillies like a bus, half hours, half flowers, to valu-plus for flip-flops and a new notebook—marble, like my stoop. i stand on the book, its title, valu-plus, arrived home on a sticker, yellow, with a price: a buck, a holler. after that we’re free to have our hazards. love ages me, but not that two people were murdered a half block from me this week. the barista lays down a napkin and spoon even when you’re just getting it to go. front-to-back three years ago a night this november i tore thru splay anthem while this place was called something else, and i thought i felt the whole world sail thru a map in my chest, knocked on wood a lesson: bare hands, bare hands, no lie: you’ll never understand yourself in isolation. a hair on your selfish city’s chest, you will mistake selfishness for independence again. again, you will catch yourself being a republican to yourself. if i’m beaten, who can tell. not me, anymore. not me, anymore.
Want to shout out a worthy work? To celebrate Poetry Month, we’re asking all our voracious readers to tell us YOUR favorite poems by local poets. To nominate a poem, send us the title, link or text, and author name, as well as a sentence about why and how you love it, to firstname.lastname@example.org (We’ll publish links to/excerpts of the work so credit goes to the original publications where they appeared, when possible, and get writers’ permission).