Mosaic Octopus (for Jason Ryberg) by Jason Baldinger

Mosaic Octopus

(for Jason Ryberg)

you said the aliens are coming down
I said the aliens are bringing us the weeds
we stared off through the dark
from the basement porch
at the bowl of a Salina skyline
passing the roach

I said the last time
I had a head full
of mushrooms
I ended up accidentally
by myself
obsessively listening
to the second side of Abbey Road
around the fifth or six replay
the darkness started creeping hard
my lungs tightened
I knew shit was gonna get nasty
if I didn’t change direction

I found my coat, went outside
a few doors down, a public garden
there is an octopus, made in glass
pottery; a mosaic octopus

it was February
it was snowing
little more than a dusting
and the octopus
and the February night
I sat with the octopus
we talked
and maybe its weird
I’m pretty sure we said a prayer
all of sudden
I was calm

you say mosaic octopus
I say mosaic octopus
we bat it like a shuttle cock
between us, finding new sentences
to place it with

you say the roach is out
we can’t find a clip
you say someone should eat it
I say its yours, consider it a gift
like the worm at the bottom
of a bottle of Tequila

you eat the roach
you say I think it’s time
to call it for the night
I say good
I feel like a walking meatloaf

Jason BaldingerJason Baldinger is a poet hailing from Pittsburgh and recently finished a stint as writer in residence at the Osage Arts Community. He’s the author of several books, the most recent are This Useless Beauty (Alien Buddha Press), The Ugly Side of the Lake (Night Ballet Press) written with John Dorsey and the chaplet Fumbles Revelations (Grackle and Crow) which are available now. The collection Fragments of a Rainy Season (Six Gallery Press) and the split book with James Benger Little Fires Hiding (Spartan Press) are forthcoming. Recent publications include the Low Ghost Anthology Unconditional Surrender, The Dope Fiend Daily, Uppagus, Lilliput Review, Rusty Truck, Dirtbag Review, In Between Hangovers, Your One Phone Call, Winedrunk Sidewalk, Anti-Heroin Chic, Nerve Cowboy Concrete Meat Press, Zombie Logic Press, Ramingo’s Porch, Blue Mountain Review, Red Fez, Blue Hour Review and Heartland! Poetry of Love, Solidarity and Resistance. You can hear Jason read poems on recent and forthcoming releases by Theremonster and Sub Pop Recording artist The Gotobeds as well as at

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