• Travis Ryan


As I weigh these pages down with regiments of ink, liquid boots stomping across the pulp in neat blue lines, they begin to warp. The moisture curls them into themselves like an introvert in a riot. There they churn, hopefully with enough force, heat, and pressure to forge them into a weapon capable of penetrating the daze that is human existence.

Travelling across arid landscapes, dust cut, wind-burned, and dying of thirst, I seek forward still. Whiskey and rain drops wet my torn throat. But my bones are still dry as they grind into more and more chalky dust with every step. Lips and gums, just receded edges like rolled jacket sleeves. Groping ahead I can hear tendons straining and snapping like banjo strings. The dark odor of my body burning muscle is the only sweetness I smell.

Still I move on,

“should’ve done this” he hears in his head

“should’ve done that” echoes in his skull

The dead are not truly dead when they live inside your psyche.

“should’ve died at 20” I replied.

Everyone who ever gave me advice is gone, and I make no footprints as I wade through this sandy abyss, searching for golden prose, Aged whiskey and young women to hold me close. Their embrace the only oasis on an endless journey.

“we used to go dancing”

Her voice is still clear and tremendous

“we were casting spells; you just didn’t have to see the consequences”

The cannon on his waist can’t kill the memories. The drugs can’t kill the pain.

“one more step... one more step baby… one more”

“Sidewinder” “typist” “dying of thirst”

Travis Muffhuggin Ryan


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