Kevin Ridgeway

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Artwork by Gene McCormick

Social Distance

I have no children,
am divorced
and I’ve got
a dead girlfriend.
I do not go to parties
because they all ask me
why I have no job,
and why I have no kids
and please don't make them
feel uncomfortable
before they are drunk
enough to act like
they are listening
when I discuss
my mental illness
and the fact
that I'm a fair weather
friend of Bill W.,
which spoils their fun
so I don't go
to parties anymore
because I am
too afraid I will
want to throw
a one-man party
beyond midnight
while they all sleep,
safe and sound
and unaware
of the sinister side
of me lurking among
shadow demons
in search of a light
that will lead me
back to them
before they all
wake up and notice
that I’ve been gone.

Artwork by Gene McCormick

Looking For Love
In All of the Wrong Places

you're not my type
the homeless girl
outside of the 711
on Cherry Avenue
told me, a rude
and empty awakening
for my precarious
dawn time libido. 
She sang
no you're never
gonna get it
before she ran off
into the shadows
with the five bucks
I had hoped would
give me permission
to rescue her
in the nightmare
of being lost
on filthy streets,
where humanity
is cheaper than
the desperation
for love neither
one of us can find.


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.