Kevin Ridgeway


I had a panic attack in the middle
of my first and last driving lesson
from one of my friends who had me
at the wheel of a battered Jeep going
around a maddening mountain range
through the deep, spirited forests
of our youth and my poor friend
took the keys right out of my hands
as a favor to society for ever having
to worry about a tralalala space cadet
like me killing innocent people in a car
neither one of my parents wanted,
even when it was new. Like
everyone else, they both drove me
to where I needed to go, shaking
their clueless heads when I offered
them unsolicited backseat driving
suggestions or whenever I stepped
on the imaginary brakes that kept me
from ever growing up. But I have
gotten around this world so many
more miles than they ever did,
and all I had to do was turn on
my internal zen compass and
point the way for every motorist
I thumbed a ride from on the path
to becoming a gutter zen master
who fled from an unhip world
in search of a new world born
with a new cool I found out there
on the road in the passenger’s seat,
dreaming of a fractured revolution.

Kevin Ridgeway is the author of Too Young to Know (Stubborn Mule Press) and nine chapbooks of poetry including Grandma Goes to Rehab (Analog Submission Press, UK). His work can recently be found in Slipstream, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Plainsongs, San Pedro River Review, The Cape Rock, Trailer Park Quarterly, Main Street Rag, Cultural Weekly and The American Journal of Poetry, among others. He lives and writes in Long Beach, CA.

1 comment:

  1. i've yet to read a ridgeway poem that i didn't like. rock on, gutter zen master, rock on.


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