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Chapter Forty of Keeping Score In America: Steve Rybicki

By Michael Moriarty
web posted March 31, 2014

"You bumped into the moon one night…"

The creator of this thought is an increasingly dear friend of mine. In Detroit of all places.

Steve Rybicki.

I get a poem from him about once or twice a month. We went to high school together.

I don't know how much such a fact of life – having a poet for a friend – can mean to anyone but me.

Steve and I were the graduates of a Jesuit high school called the University of Detroit.

I don't recite poems. I just get up and let them run through me. This one's a particular favorite o' mine… because its his most recent!

"Walking out of Macy's, with the wife –"

American poet.

You're not going to get much more American than his two opening lines… particularly "with the wife".

Steve is certainly as powerful a poet for me as Gerard Manley Hopkins… but then again, Steve isn't a Jesuit priest like Hopkins was… so… not much novelty to sell there.

He's just a poet.

A real one.

How do ya know a real one from a fraud? You can't stop coming back to read him!

"Sometime the bright revelation comes,"

He's getting us ready for The Unexpected.

A paradox such as this:


 "That even tedium may surprise – "

A second character in the drama suddenly appears:

"You never expected the sight of a gigantic
Moon, lumbering certainly toward you – "


Now we are suddenly transported to the world of a word that has hugely mysterious secrets all over it:


Look it up. Not even Wikipedia contains the full measure of Steve Rybicki's "Pashtun"!

Where "mahouts" scurry about, begging for business, their "pachyderms" kneeling before you.



"The ride of your life!"

With my prelude completed, here's the poem!

Macy's Moon

By Stephen Rybicki

You bumped into the moon one night,
Walking out of Macy's, with the wife –
Sometimes, the bright revelation comes,
That even tedium may surprise –
You never expected the sight of a gigantic
Moon, lumbering certainly toward you –
Next thing, the two of you are in Pashtun,
Where a small mahout calls out –
He smacks the gentle pachyderm to its knees;
You take the ride of your life –

© 2014

Ya gotta love ‘em! ESR

Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at rainbowfamily2008@yahoo.com. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.






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