Thick With Conviction - A Poetry Journal
thick with conviction a poetry journal

Ron Riekki

The Blood Iíve Seen (a memoir)

my own, the first memories
in mirrors, me examining
how gorgeous it is, the way
that it evaporates so easily
in water and why is there
so little peace, so much
death in every weekday,
the schools are made
for blood, for faith in blood,
like church, the soup of fist-
fights, the towers of recess
with their prairies of dark
clouds and deep hates
when we should be ill-
uminated by merry-go-rounds
that spin until you join
the military and by you
I mean I and by I I mean
that no one should join
the memories of electrocuted
helicopters or one to be more
exact, but no blood there,
none there, the blood
in the military, to be honest,
was distant, it was on the other
end of crypto gear, it was so
far that you could not hear it,
no, no blood that I remember
in the navy, in the air force,
all those marine co-workers,
we spilled other blood,
except now I remember
that man in Spain, the one
with the knife wound who
walked up to me and his
bleeding was a purple
hunger to join us

Daffodils and Hos

War calls the field boring.
Stop this nervous shank of youth.
The knowledge of ex-boyfriends is important to falling.
Charlie Parker was a heroin addict.
Theyíll never publish two poems of yours that both contain the word heroin.
My family is plagued with fuck.
Iím labeled as a growing thing.
A ghost with eyes bugged out like a white man.
This dark joy.
This poem is about me going outside
and not because I have to work.
War calls the field boring.
I spring into nothing.
Iím not employable.
I stalk big messy dreads.
Iím different and shiny,
a ranting Ralph Ellison,
an existing stereotype,
a butt of the joke,
a weakness,
a Michigan anthem,
a nipple ring,
an oracle of disharmony,
a view of the river thatís blocked,
a view of the lake thatís blocked,
something missing,
something worse,
much worse for it all,
the only author to piss off his publisher,
one of the few people
addicted to masturbation,
addicted to the underground tunnel,
a hater of all things Alabama,
a one-line couplet,
the thing that doesnít grow back,

The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works, 48 poems by 28 poets, 20 stories by 17 fiction writers, all U.P., never before published. "Beautifully edited, The Way North is more than a collection. It is a collaboration of writers, each whom understands in his and her own way what is sacred about that utterly unique, fresh water peninsula known as the U.P."--Stuart Dybek, author of The Coast of Chicago,


Current Issue:
August 2013


AJ Davis
James H. Duncan
Anthony Liccione
Christina Rau
Ron Riekki
Jason Sturner
Patricia Wellingham-Jones