by Douglas Richardson

for protection I kept a rusty nail
in a beat-up Betty Boop tote bag
and twirled my frizzy hair;
barnacles under the boardwalk
made me cry

my goal early in life was to spot
the farthest point I could see
and run away from it

my goal late in life was to return
to where I came from
using beer and antihistamines

drug-softened memories were so quiet
they kept me company
like faraway islands
and the
silent ocean between

Douglas Richardson was born in Duluth , Minnesota , and raised in Camarillo , California . He currently lives in Los Angeles , where he works as a proofreader, editor, novelist, and poet. Publication credits this year include Straight Forward Poetry and The Nervous Breakdown. His books Poems for Loners and Ghosts in Time and Space were selected by Poetry Super Highway as Holiday Recommendations in 2010 and 2011, respectively.