Brick Road Poetry Press

poetry made to entertain, amuse, and edify

The mission of Brick Road Poetry Press is to publish and promote poetry that entertains, amuses, edifies, and surprises a wide audience of appreciative readers.  We are not qualified to judge who deserves to be published, so we concentrate on publishing what we enjoy. Our preference is for poetry geared toward dramatizing the human experience in language rich with sensory image and metaphor, recognizing that poetry can be, at one and the same time, both familiar as the perspiration of daily labor and as outrageous as a carnival sideshow.

Poetry by Ron Self from Rich Man's Son

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New Adam


In the mist of early morning

the driver of the car in front of me

is only a silhouette:  head, neck,

pair of broad shoulders;

and from these I must fashion

a body entire, Frankenstein-Adonis

extrapolated from the limited view,

the parts and pieces I can see,

can shovel up from the graveyard

of past encounters, summon

from the morgue of memory;

and as we drive along,

he in his car up front, 

me in mine behind,

I cobble and stitch him together,

cut, paste, snip and sew,

connect the dots of head, neck,

broad shoulders to rag-tag abattoir

of torso, limbs, essential appendages,

create new Adam from assorted

random atoms, blow breath into him,

extend a finger of my hand to his,

endow him with the life

I imagine for myself;

and with that he speeds up,

exits Eden heading east,

hell-bent at the dawn of creation.




Waiting Quiescent


I am not yet there,

but some part of some thing

that will one day become me

is in that interior ocean

waiting quiescent

for some part of some other thing

to swim in from the sea,

fight upstream over the falls,

roil its way through the rapids,

across the narrowing shallows

toward me, toward that part

of some thing that will one day

become me.  And Gaia,

my mother, the Earth

that contains the ocean

that contains me, waits, too,

but not quiescent, not passive,

moving with the pendulum

of back and forth, of out and in;

the variable rhythm of time and tide

that waits for no man, for no woman;

the essential urge, inevitable compulsion

that causes the something

that will one day become me

to coalesce into something

that somehow suddenly is

genesis, my beginning,





Ancient Voice



In the picture,

the little boy in diaper,

rubber pants and T-shirt,

leans away from

but still holds on tight

to the fence, unwilling

to trust himself, unwilling

to let go, start walking.

That he is cared for,

that he is loved,

is in his face,

is in his eyes

looking off camera

toward someone, someone

who beckons him forward:

“Come on, you can do it.

Come on, you can do it.”

If you listen, maybe

you can hear that voice,

perhaps hear the ancient voice

in your own head,

in your own picture:

“Come to Daddy.  Come to Daddy.

You can do it.”




Single Scoop Moon



The half-moon hangs

in the early morning sky

like a single scoop of ice cream,

vanilla, pressed into an invisible

sugar cone pointed down

and to the left, falling toward earth

exactly like the soft-serve mountain

his mother bought him

one hot summer day

at the Dairy Queen

in Hattiesburg, Mississippi,

a fifteen-cent cone

back when you could still buy

a nickel cone or a dime cone,

and fifteen cents bought

a whole lot of ice cream;

and as he walked away from the window,

turned to cross the parking lot,

before even a single happy lick,

the ice cream shifted, began to slide,

avalanching downward, to the left,

falling toward earth

and the blacktop pavement,

where it landed with a plop,

spread out in a snowball cloud

of failed expectation,

melting disappointment;

and back when fifteen cents

bought a whole lot of ice cream,

when he felt like crying, he cried,

and he felt like it then, and did,

until his mother bought him another cone,

a nickel one this time, single scoop,

pressed down into sugar cone,

vanilla half-moon yearning





Six of One



They carried the old man

in a bed sheet doubled over,

held tight in the corners

by four stout men,

and when they got to our house,

they laid him across the porch swing,

called for Doctor Hendrick, who came,

black bag in hand, a few minutes later,

listened with stethoscope to the old man’s chest,

pronounced him dead from a heart attack.

All the while his house

was in flames, burning to the ground,

and five-year-old me,

on tiptoe in flannel pajamas,

was having a hard time

deciding which I’d rather watch:

the fire across the street,

or the dead man on the front porch.




Wash Away My Sin



I don’t remember now

what it was I said

that caused my grandmother,

a kind, gentle, grandmotherly soul,

to snatch me up by the arm,

drag my little boy body

kicking and screaming

into the bathroom

where she proceeded to wash

my mouth out with Ivory soap,

a Crisco-white bar

“so pure it floats,”

forced through my lips,

across my clenched teeth,

into my “dirty, foul mouth”

to wash away every semblance

and trace of whatever word,

gosh, golly, darn or damn,

it was I had said.

I don’t remember now

what it was I said,

but I do remember,

and will never forget,

what that goddamn

soap tasted like.





Fly Me to the Moon



Jules Verne took the boy

on his first journey

from the Earth to the moon

in a Classics Illustrated comic book

bought for twenty-five cents

off the rack at the back

of Foster’s Drug Store,

Main Street, Podunk, U.S.A.,

about as far as you could get

from the moon in those days

and still be on the planet Earth.


Back then all the boy knew

about the moon

was that it was a boon

to budding poets

because it rhymed with spoon and June

and had something to do with love

and silver light from up above.


He knew less about love

than he did about the moon,

and there was no book

on the rack for that,

no Jules Verne to tell the story,

show the way,

illustrate in pulp fiction

comic book color,

how to love,

how to allow himself to be loved,

how to fly to the moon

and, like Neal Armstrong,

come home again.

He had to learn

that lesson for himself,


like we all do,

or maybe like some of us


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