Rich Boucher | 3 poems


I have opened the circle, 
and I have called the quarters. 
I have welcomed powerful spirits 
from the many dimensions to be with us now,
and I have warned any and all malicious beings wishing
to enter into this space that they will find a fight if they want one,
for the spell is cast, and this place where we are is now enchanted. 

Let us begin: I am speaking now to the spirit inside of my friend,
to whoever has decided to come into the body of my friend
against my friend’s will. 

I believe that you are aware that you are no longer alive,
and that you are looking for some place to be,
that you are looking for someone to be.

Maybe you are supposed to be in Heaven;
maybe you are supposed to be in Hell;
whatever the case may be, you are apparently
stuck here on Earth, here upon this mortal plane,
unable to rise and unable to fall. 

But you need to know that you are not welcome
in the body of my friend, who lies helpless here
in that silent, dangerous and unholy ground between wake and sleep;
he does not want you inside of him and taking over a moment longer.
No more. 

He cannot speak for himself right now,
as you now inhabit him: body, mind and soul.

You must leave. 
You must release him. 
You must leave this place and leave my friend in peace.

But before you move to release him,
before you allow total control of his body back to his soul once more,
before you leave his form and rise 
to be among those first few stars in the dark of the morning,
please know that my friend owes me thirty dollars,
thirty dollars that I loaned him, like, a year ago,
thirty dollars that he has been refusing to pay me back. 

It’s been a huge pain to watch my friend
buy himself nice things all the time and still not pay me back,
so I ask you now, before you give his spirit, body and mind
back to his own command once more, to make my friend
run real quick to the ATM to get me my money. 

After that, you may go.

The Silent Killer

Stricken with vandalism at the age of ten, 
little Brian was terribly hobbled and ill-behaved
because of the congenital condition he got born with;
he tried to walk everywhere on his own,
but his disease caused him to have to stop
and deface some property with the spray paint can
he was born holding in his right hand.
His mother could do nothing but let him do it,
and pay the owners of the property after.
When the delivery doctor saw little Brian exit his mother
with a spray paint can in his hand, he knew something was wrong.
A lot of times, property owners would get mad,
but then they would look at little Brian’s little face
and see that he just couldn’t help being born
with a spray paint can in his hand,
and so then they would sort of pathetically smile
and let little Brian fulfill his disease against their belongings.
The child doctors tried to force little Brian to wear
a pair of metal, anti-vandalism arm braces,
but little Brian's disease gave him incredible strength,
and he wound up hurting a lot of doctors.
All that anybody could do was let little Brian do what he had to
and destroy the things that did not belong to him;
he had a disease that was incurable and unstoppable.
Everybody had to let little Brian ruin things. 
Little Brian was a little boy who had snack crumbs on his mouth
and who defaced property everywhere he went
and you wanted to smack him but you couldn’t.
I’m sorry, but you could never smack little Brian, 
no matter how much you might have wanted to,
because little Brian was stricken with vandalism,
and because little Brian didn’t belong to you.

[first published at In Between Hangovers]

What Was Once Without a Name 
Is Now World-Famous;
What Was Once Forbidden Is Now Required

It’s okay to ask the question; it is,
even if the only answer you yourself can give is wrong;
even if the only answer you yourself can give 
makes no sense.

For instance: it’s okay to ask that monster, 
that living, breathing media whose heart and whose skin 
and whose eyes are made up out of all that’s stupid shallow 
arrogant full-colour dumb insane and finally DULL
why is that art, that beaten protester, that issue
that congressman important and not me?

It’s okay to ask why oceans blithely choose 
to swallow sailors whole, drown children 
who probably did not deserve to drown (probably), 
yank natives and tourists alike right off the shore 
with a terrible, miracle wave of its dark green hand, 
even if the only answer you yourself can give
is that something is wrong with Mother Nature 
and she just refuses to seek help. 

It’s okay to ask the Statue of Liberty
what sort of accent is that?

It’s okay to ask the Statue of Liberty for a tit pic
if you know her well enough and she’s down;
it’s okay to ask the Statue of Liberty 
for a little bit of no-strings-attached freedom,
some late night Saturday night democracy-and-chill.

It’s okay to ask why people 
who were born twenty years after you got here
and who are therefore running way behind
should ever in a million years be allowed to tell you
that the words you’ve always known how to define
have now been redefined, thank you very much
and how dare you pull such triggers.

It’s okay to ask why-oh-why-oh-why-oh-why,
why you have been asked 
to WATCH your mouth out with soap,
as though it could possibly be true
in any sort of mesmerized and idiotic universe
that spoken aloud words could at all, in any way,
ever actually hurt someone, draw blood 
or be likened to bullets.

It’s okay to ask the question
safe spaces for who who who WHOOOOOOOOOOOO?
what if what makes a place safe for you
makes a place very unsafe for me
because we are BOTH about to get into 
that same Yellow Cab 
medallion number one-hundred-and-forty-three
but there’s only room for one piece of baggage 
and what will it be: your precious agency 
or the tatters of my reality?

It’s okay to ask a national election
how dare it give us so little to love or admire?

It’s okay to ask the Confederate flag
isn’t it about time you waved goodbye?

These are questions it really is okay to ask. 

It’s okay to say hold up, just a minute now; 
it’s okay to ask why we wish celebrities would just be nice 
and near us all the time while at the same time, 
with that same part of the body that we wish with,
we wish for all those homeless people to be so not 
inconveniently present and nearby;
it’s okay to ask the question the murder the crucible why
even if the only answer you yourself can give 
makes no sense.

It’s okay to ask why judges who fail to punish
the men who hide their mistreatment of animals 
behind the veil of culture and the women who drive drunk 
for the hundredth glorious time on Highway 25
and the men who introduce their wives to fists
are permitted to enjoy the safety of their lives
even if the only answer you yourself can give
is because THE LAW IS THE LAW 
which none can take in hand
because you can’t go around taking the hands 
into your own law
and killing the people who need to be killed 
which is also wrong;
it’s wrong to not be able to kill people 
who need to be killed.

It’s okay to make a statement 
instead of asking a question once in a while. 

It is. 

It’s okay to ask how come come becomes a dirty bird
and not no longer a nice, fresh-jasmine-scented 
intimate wipe Christian kind of word
just because you fell into some soma and spelled it wrong,
just because some you soma into fell 
and it wrong wrong wrong spelled you,
just because ingesting poison that can kill you 
might hurt just a little little bit,
just because cinnamon mixed with cyanide 
is not the best way to dress up the plate,
just because cinnamon mixed with cyanide 
is the only way to present that hundred-dollar plate,
just because 9 out of every 5 Americans 
like to use the thought of God 
like a threat, like he was an abusive metropolitan night-stick 
wrapped up in a condom, just because it’s okay 
to commit pure FACE-ISM, classism and binary lookism 
if we are specifically talking about Rowan County Clerk 
Kim Kentucky Davis and I’m TELLLING you; I swear 
on my mother’s rain-washed, slate-gray gravestone
it’s okay to ask if all the skinny-skinny fashion people 
and the Kardashians and the Rihannas 
and the AK-Kanye’s and the Gaga Ladies 
and all those haute couture photographers 
who for some reason are biologically and commercially 
allergic to real, fat people
should even still be alive and unhurt and safe
if they themselves are the reason our attention
is so far, far away from the hungry, the hurt and the lost.

It’s okay to ask the question; it really is,
even if the only answer you yourself can give is wrong,
even if the only answer you yourself can give 
makes no sense,
even if there is only one answer, 
even if there are no answers.



Rich Boucher resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Rich is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee, and also as a member of the 2008 & 2014 Albuquerque City Poetry Slam Teams. Rich’s poems have appeared in Gargoyle, Yellow Chair Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Apeiron Review, The Mas Tequila Review, In Between Hangovers, Menacing Hedge, Lotus-eater, and Cultural Weekly, among others, and he has work in the Write Bloody Publishing superhero anthology MultiVerse, which was released in the Fall of 2014. He is the Associate Editor at Elbow Room Magazine.

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