Wordsligner • Dissident • Webwright

The RyTer’s Almanac: A Birthday Special

Published 01 November 2007
The RyTer’s Almanac Album Art

THURSDAY, 1 NOVEMBER, 2007

THIS IS A PODCAST: /

Poem: “The Choler” by Ryan Cannon, written in 2004 and revised in 2007 for his birthday. © Ryan Cannon, 2007.

The Choler

Tired of take-what-you’re-given,
sick of that’s-not-for-you,
we woke sweat-soaked from our parents’ dreams
and headed for the window,
the fire-escape stair
before we choked on the smoke
of our smoldering lives.

We banded together for someone to hear
and dictate our epics as they appear.
Diamonds of moonlit virgin snow and
bloody feather remnants of a hawk’s feast
are more real when there’s someone else
and reverie’s shared.
We joined for the glory, so as not to disappear.

Freeway: top down. Suitcase. Horizon.
In this labyrinth of junctions every road beckoned:
Serpentine concrete where all exits lead away
From borders. Cradle bars. Expectations.
Our new world would be hand-crafted
with scraps of rest stops, detours—
forward, ever forward.

Now, years since we spent our dimes at the bar,
We return to wash the counters with memories
and rags from strips torn from our hearts.
Spring friendships, now in autumn
crumble while clutched to the chest,
returning to the ground as dust.

Literary and Historical Notes

It’s the birthday of Ryan Cannon, a Web developer from Detroit Michigan who dabbled in many kinds of writing.

In high school, he showed his English teacher a collection of short stories he had written for an online roleplaying game called “Black Bayou,” where there players gained extra points for writing about their characters’ adventures in a city filled with vampires and werewolves. The teacher recruited Ryan to help edit the schools literary magazine and help contribute to it. He continued to edit and write for literary magazines throughout college. He won several awards for his writing, but then mysteriously stopped, moved to California and took up a career in Web design, spending most of his free time surfing the Internet and blogging about technology and politics.

Ryan Cannon, who wrote: “Ordinary reality simply isn’t believable enough. In order to create something truly great, one must supersaturate reality with life. … This type of writing made messes. It left scars. It was the only type of writing—aside from traffic signs and letters—worth committing to paper.”