Rich Ferguson

 

 

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(Photo “Orange Crush” by Rich Ferguson)

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What the What

What we argue about.
What we know to the depths of our souls.
What causes the soles of our feet to burn.
What our pain is, and what we do with it.

What we do for love.
What animals mate for life.

What weapons will look like in 100 years.
What our history of violence tells us.
What the silence tells us on nights we can’t sleep. 
What time whispers in our ears when another year slips by.

What slips between our fingers, between the cracks.

What cracks us up.

What gets us up out of bed every morning.

What we see when we look in the mirror. 
What to do for a broken heart.

What to do when your what-if machine breaks.

What your tongue can tell you about your health.

What your health can tell you about your wealth.

What we can learn from our mistakes.

What we can learn from the color of a star.

What we wish for when we wish upon a star.

What truths are self-evident.

What our parents aren’t telling us.
What our politicians aren’t telling us. 
What it means to be kind, what it means to be cruel.
What it means to be rich, what it means to be poor. 
What to do to cleanse your colon.

What to do to cleanse your soul.
What to take for a yeast infection, or erectile dysfunction.
What a dangling or misplaced modifier looks like in a sentence.
What a prison inmate’s life sentence costs the average taxpayer. 
What it costs to build a house.

What it costs to buy a house.
What Lincoln said about a house divided.

What Shakespeare said about destiny and the stars.

What scars we wear proudly. 

What wounds we keep hidden deep.

What we’ve lied about, rioted about. 
What we’ve remained absolutely quiet about.

What the coroner’s report will say about us when we’re gone.
What our families, friends, and coworkers will say about us when we’re gone.

What to do to get turned on.

What to do when you’re turned off.

What made Van Gogh cut off his ear.

What paint colors go together, or make people look more beautiful.

What it really means when people say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

What eye color is most sensitive to light.

What it takes to power Times Square.

What 9/11 looked like from outer space.

What you can and can’t take on airplanes.

What you can and can’t buy with food stamps, or eat while pregnant.

What role folic acid plays in pregnancy.

What acid taught Timothy Leary.

What we should and shouldn’t be leery of.

What agitates us, brings us peace. 

What meditation does to the brain.

What cancer does to the brain.

What we know about wisdom vs. intelligence.
What we know about ignorance vs. stupidity. 

What stupid things people do with their smart phones.

What women do that drive guys crazy.

What guys do that drive women crazy. 

What it really means when a guy says he’s scared.

What it really means when a woman says, “Fine.”

What degree of separation you are from Tom Waits vs. Tom Cruise.
What your musical taste, or taste in movies says about you. 
What the chicken says when crossing the road.
What the road has told us when we’ve journeyed off alone.

What we’ve done for kicks on Route 66.

What 666 means to a mathematician vs. a devil worshiper, or biblical scholar.

What prayers to say for abundance, what prayers to say for healing. 
What we’ve held in our hands.

What we’ll be handing over to the next generation.
What we’ve handed over as a bribe, peace offering, or evidence.
What the witness saw.
What the victim saw.
What the shooter saw when staring down the barrel of his rifle.
What we see when looking up at the clouds.

What we see when looking down deep into ourselves.

 

Rich Ferguson

c. 2018

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Orange is the new…

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Photo by L.K. Thayer – Women’s March, Los Angeles – 01.21.17

 

“Please listen to our full menu as our options have changed: Press 1 for alternative facts / Press 2 for an explanation of emollients vs. the emoluments clause / Press 3 for fashion tips from Kellyanne Conway / Press 4 for denial & anger / Press 5 for bargaining, depression & acceptance / Press 6 for lead us not into temptation of nuclear war / Press 7 if you’d like to purchase a bomb shelter / Press 8 if you’d like to purchase a Gwenyth Paltrow yoni rock to hurl at the White House / Press 9 if you’d like to hear the Trump administration sing Kanye West’s “Wolves” / Or Press 0 if you’d like to speak with Mick Jagger, who can’t always get what you want, but you might find he can sometimes get what you need…”

 

Rich Ferguson

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(Photo of Rich Ferguson courtesy of Cat Gwynn)

Plug yourself into the electric present moment jukebox, sing yourself into the total sensurround sounds of now. Wash your hair with sudsy, bubbly playgrounds of wow; give your scalp a good laugh. Imitate a ringing phone; see how long it takes for someone to pick you up. Allow music, merriment & the moon to always find you, no matter how far you may sometimes fall inside yourself. Spread some traffic jam on a piece of toast; take a bite, swallow it without an ounce of road rage as a chaser. Sit peacefully with your hands on life’s steering wheel. Rest assured your heart is your copilot.

Rich Ferguson Quote…

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“One must have steady hands and thoughts when performing an autopsy on a memory. Carefully fingerprint it, check its dental work, take photos and a blood sample to determine if the memory is close to the heart. If so, consider holding on to it, otherwise gently let it go. But be careful: one slip of the mind, one slip of the knife and it all becomes delusion, revisionist history.”

–  Rich Ferguson

Rich Ferguson

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“Last night the moon was a sun-bleached cowskull.

Clouds moved across the night like sandstorm.

Stars howled.

The hours slithered by,

dug their poisonous fangs into me.

My body slipped off into fevered dreams,

then mirage.

Sometimes sleep is an unforgiving desert.”

– Rich Ferguson

(Los Angeles, Poet)

© 2013