Ryan Warren

Ryan Warren

Ryan Warren lives with his family in the Seattle, WA U.S. and was founding director of the Coastside Poetry reading series in Half Moon Bay, CA.
He is a 2017 Forward Prize for Poetry nominee, a 2016 Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, and his poetry has previously appeared in numerous journals including Amaryllis, California Quarterly, Verse-Virtual, Dime Show Review, Firefly Magazine, Page & Spine, Poetry Breakfast, Wilderness House Literary Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, and the anthology, Carry the Light.
You can find more of his work at http://ryanwarrenpoetry.com


I was the kind
who would be stopped

by Parrish colored clouds,
the rounded light of Vermeer,

the rendering of drapery.
Was soothed by the sound of water,

the scent of bergamot.
I even relished the pulling

of a fountain pen
from inside a jacket pocket.

But I’ve been whetted a bit.
Some loss is a stone.

So a measure, now, of silence.
The time to walk in trees.

I find myself laid newly low
by the terrible hardness of human hearts.

I admire spiders more.
I grow irritable with newness.

And Pollack has crept up on me,
those wiry sinews,

brittle bracelets of poured paint.
His declaration of independence

the unexpected texture,
thick at times as a coiled hose.

No pitcher. No virginal. No fruit.
It’s strange what can carry you.

How I now crave
the taste of mustard.

Published in Verse-Virtual, September 2017

Special Relativity

What The Math Teaches (1):
As I move away from the Earth,
time accelerates.
The now of the little clock
on my weightless wrist
ticks faster than the one I leave behind
on my daughter’s nightstand.
The greater my proximity
to mass, the more time slows.
Perhaps this is why
I am always seeking mountains.

What The Buddha Teaches:
This teacup is already broken
and so I should rejoice.j

What The Math Teaches (2):
Time is bound to motion.
Time bends as we move.
Move away, move forward
from sufficient distance
and I arc the trajectory of my now
toward your past or your future.
Simultaneous is only for us,
together, in this room.
I cannot know the content
of this clicking carousel,
so I must beware,
the sleepless nights of turning
over what is not my now,
the Kodachrome vortex
of memory.

What The Mountain Teaches:
Over time
even mountains fold.

What Fatherhood Teaches:
I should have tried to harder
to remember more math:
she was born
and in the next second
I had to show her
the division of fractions.
Time is bound to motion.
Months can last for decades.
Decades can wash past
like a paper boat.
Also, she is a teacup.
She may already be broken.

Published in Riggwelter, August 2018