Tag Archives: Cassie Ridgway

The Ten

by Cassie Ridgway

 

Figures remain anonymous

not people but types

each with a secret

sneaky ten percent.

 

10% subtlety. Ten percent aloof.

When you’re super sexy

you can be missing your front tooth

flipping pint glasses

in low lighting

and the girls are likin’ all of it.

 

I know you, faceless blotch.

You’re that paint stroke

in the precipitating audience

moving to and fro

like a field of flowers with their faces

pointed at the sun

eating free sun beams.

 

We, all, matching in little bits:

You with your low brow

second hand ol’ diamond in the rough.

The common interest is forming

a tribe.

 

But

Your 10%

a filigree form that shutters inside constant

and pulsates a hum electric

Your ten percent speaks German

and thinks that the screwdriver

is to a screw a molester.

 

Ten % is kept in that letter

you have. I have.

Hidden and preserved with the careful, clammy drawer

that keeps so few things

so commonly used.

 

No, a mass of bodies here.

Not identities but types.

 

And the 10% hovers above the room.

 

 

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An Explanation of Mag-Big, Second Attempt:

by Cassie Ridgway

 

Luster so      yellow sweet

dripping peachy.

Soil down, and up

white silhouettes—bugs dart beams.

2.   Whispering, “please, oh please” to air

oh thing that fear cannot unbind

if it hears a desperate plea, it is at least listening.

3.    Intoxication because in the moments before

hitting the water

Icarus smiles at the sun.

4.    Animal love.

5.    Song that understands; how it seduces

over and over;

it is a lover we cannot be with

any longer.

6.    A lighthouse casting a shivering slice

through undulating fog;

the mariner catching it in a glass sphere.

7.    Pages and pages of crumbling yellowed words

my grandmother at eighteen

believes in crackling radio broadcasts.

8.    The lover, how he stretches, and in his slumber

rests his hand upon the breast.

Now is slipping into the chill of morning

Still, his dreams, a Grecian urn preserving her.

9.     When dying words are unselfish,

such as,

“try to be happy,” or “smile, my love.”

10.   When trees creak

like whale songs,

without ears

the forest philharmonic.

11.    Awaking to snow

it covers churning streets with impenetrable silence

and we play, in the stillness, and its been years.

12.    The painter, how he cannot stop

with birds and feathers

plumage plucked from the wing of an osprey.

He considers himself from birds eye view.

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Home

by Cassie Ridgway

 

Your hat all hung

a drop of laudanum,

a tendril dangling on the brink

of a shallow glass:

 

sight budding,

open me up how I want to see.

 

The narrative calls itself home.

 

Home,

the house that gave birth

to coevals: stories securely boxed up

inside its humming walls;

we leave her when what is unwritten

seems to hang on the wind

ringing chimes outside the window–

 

bells that resound always home.

 

Home,

separated bodies of water

the growth of vegetation

pulled from warm soil.

This verdant earth is ours

it’s worth dying for, but we can’t just stay here.

 

Home,

That standing on the water’s edge, we look on at the far reaches of our

letters

our tiny prayers adrift like a gas above

home.

 

That home is the distance between us and our occurrence.

 

* * *

Cassie Ridgway is a poet living in Portland, OR. She received her degree from Portland State University in 2010 along with the Kellogg Award for Poetry. Thus far, all of her published works are from her collection, “Mag-Big,” which is also the name of the retail shop she owns and operates on Hawthorne Blvd. Though poetry and music are her first loves, she makes her living as an apparel designer and store owner. Her shop, Mag-Big, features the largest array of Portland designers in the NW. The phrase and namesake, “Mag-Big,” is a kenning that she has been working with for a number of years and hoping to make sense of. Efficaciously, it is a study of her own sense of smallness amid an ever-expansive sense of time and place. To be aware of Mag-Big is that moment in which we are perfectly located in an unfathomably large picture.

 

 

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