The Industry of Smokey Living

All that Wind
by Ryan Hardgrove

from my fire escape I can see
spiraling towers of smoke
pouring from Neville Island
the hellish grey island in the Ohio River
ancient smokestacks
leftover somehow by the industrial rustbelt circus
spew innumerable amounts of gas and particulates
day in day out
unknown flames burn through the night
old candles that forgot to go out

I cough on my dry cold cigarette
and stub it out on the frozen brick

on the couch
its winter and I’m poor
Eraserhead is on the screen
with its industrial wind
and incessant infantile screams

she’s somewhere in the background
seed in her own stomach
my seed
and her friend is here
complaining about jobs and guys and all around shortcomings

her friend still has not asked her
how the pregnancy is coming

and she says my friends don’t care
what a joke

the truth is
nobody cares
about anyone else
unless that someone
provides them with something
they cannot provide
for themselves

the wind rattles a gutter
somewhere out in the dark

Ryan Hardgrove is currently wading through his late twenties as a feckless bartender and responsible father. He is also a writer and a musician. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his common law wife and their son.


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I am a dreamer, as well as a doer, who lives in the North Georgia mountains. I started my publishing journey August of 2013, have had moderate success, but my utmost passion is my "daytime" job, which is working with adults who are constantly striving to better their lives as they obtain the GED credential.

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