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Richard Vargas: "salvation… for Ray Bradbury"

The Poem

Richard Vargas has edited/published five issues of The Tequila Review, 1978-1980, including poetry by Gerald Locklin, nila northSun, Kirk Robertson, Michael C Ford, Alberto Ríos, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Ron Koertge, Dennis Cooper, and others. His first book, McLife, was featured twice on Garrison Keillor’s Writers Almanac, in February, 2006. A second book, American Jesus, was published by Tia Chucha Press, 2007.
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salvation… for Ray Bradbury

i was in the third grade
spending the weekend
at my nana’s when i found
my uncle’s old playboy magazine
laying on his bed in plain sight
i picked it up and flipped
through the pages
i knew it was supposed
to be a big deal from the way
grown-ups talked about it
but i have to tell you
i wasn’t impressed
although i now had a
pretty good idea why
ladies were so soft
in certain places
the cartoons were interesting
but they weren’t funny to me
and just as i was going to
put it down i came across
an illustration of a T-Rex
and since i was all about
dinosaurs i started reading
the text which turned out
to be a story about men
paying money to travel
back in time so they could
hunt the biggest baddest
meat eater ever to roam
the planet and when T-Rex
showed up some guy
got scared and ran off
stepping where he
wasn’t supposed to
squashing a bug which
totally changed evolution
the story struck me like
lightning and my blood
began to boil between my ears
i started looking for anything
the author had written
finding his books at the
local library as his words
and stories eased the pain
of growing up with a father
who i thought loved the needle
in his arm more than me
the next year my old man
o.d.’d and i sought comfort
in the pages of those books
looking for something to step on
a bug to squash and turn back
the clock so i could start over with
my not-so-happy 10 yr old life
then i started to write stories
diving deeper into the
sea of words and language
until i couldn’t come up for air
and that led to my
first poems
now
48 yrs later
i’m still at it
and Ray,
you magnificent
storytelling s.o.b.
it’s just me
apologizing
for how long it’s
taken to say
thanks
You may also be interested in this video from Ray Bradbury: Love What You Do, Do What you Love.

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