New Album Out Today!

This is a collection of the only recordings of my alt-country/Americana project that was on and off from 1998-2013. I never released an album because the only studio LP I recorded was lost when the studio I recorded at was destroyed, that resulted in a long hiatus from music. The masters were lost and so as my momentum. This is all that is left. Rough cuts, demos and few live tracks.

Anyway, enjoy.

https://jeremymarkritch.bandcamp.com/album/jeremy-ritch-the-cowards-demos-live-tracks-1997-2013

Late Night Ramblings

I fall in love with afterthoughts and the names in playbills. Cast and crew. Nuts and bolts. Backstage busted non-union smoke breaks. Fuck. That’s good. Write it down. Have you cried for a smile that you never saw? A mirage. A dial tone fantasy. The best love never gets to that point. It scorches the earth then moves on. Forever is a badly cooked steak. Chewy and familiar. Paid for with coupons. The conventional version anyway. Soul mate synergy is more of a matrix of hearts. We love in spurts. As Richard Hell would say. Intimacy and multiplicity. Culture crushes called connections. Religious orders. Fast food faithful. One on one with a mirror between. We are wasted on our own selfish wine. I know love isn’t marriage’s possession. I’ve known that agreement. It’s just a subcontracted. Under god or the courts. Love is free. Birds singing duets on multiple wires. Wave length lovers. Moment to moment. Electricity is okay for mass consumption. Live more. Love bigger. Love in ways that defy sheltered norms. Kiss the moon. Kiss me too. Hugs are not deadly. Just infectious. Anyway, I’m going to bed.

New Poem

My heart burns with the readers digest. Thrown on a pyre without consent. Gasoline shoulders ignite. Carrying the weight of a world on fire. Dead eyes have no tears, only regrets. While my ghosts sing for the poets, we are mostly forgotten. Like a fallen tree, we are a silent thunder. Clapping off time in a white soul choir. Shred me dignified into your memory. Facsimile family man. Groped by the clerical collars curse. Hate tastes familiar, like the copper blood of youth. So, exercise a demonic Christ from the longing truth. For, we are glorious liars wading in our of sinful waters. Imagining elaborate punishment for such minuscule parts of life. Eternity is now and now is forever. Plant based, we will all be, one day. When the smoke clears.

Three New Poems


Rich People Fuck Weird

A slip of paper
in an old note
book was written,
“Rich people fuck weird!”
No context. No worries.
Folded it. In my pocket. Sliding out the door, just in time for the night. Lorain Ave. it was the 90s. Brutalism westside. Everything was grey, always.
we wrote poems. In alleyways. She. Summer.
The punk shows, the indie girls. I still have that piece of paper.


Father’s Day, 2019

We do love. Abruptly.
Distant we. Apart.
We do love. Hopeful.
Estranged, convoluted.
We do love. With truth.
Genuine, honestly.
We do love. Broken.
Fractured, forgiven.
We do love. In spurts.
Moments in time.
We do love. Unspoken.
Enduring. Despite pain.
We do love. Somehow.


Bookshelves

Dreaming of bookshelves.
Stacks, spines read me.
Signed copy. Auction.

Gallery talk. My image.
Quote me brush stroke, dipped in red. Scratch.

Hugs, cheek kiss.
They don’t fucking care.
The work is genius. What?

Lecture series. Greyhaired, silver fox. Podium.
I’m dead.

Four Poems About Love

Love Poems

Love poems are shit.
Shit. Love. Pray.
Or, was it, Eat Love Shit?
Either way. Struggle.
Mindful, mindless

Ghosting. Window pane
Window into pain.
Ice forms on glass, crackling.
Winters are cold here.

Smoke. ignite. Dissolve
My hands turn red, then blue.
Yellow tar.
Snow fell. I was falling. Star


Smoke Rings

Smoke rings into square pegs, ashtray eyes.
She held the cigarette like dart. Aiming it. Bullseye.
The sycamores were full of birds. Song birds. Love birds.
The soup was cold. Served white bowl diner.
Smoke rings. She made them perfect. Open mouth, lipstick cool. Puff…
I rested, coffee tired. Eyes dark circle, vulture.
Death in a vinyl booth. She smiled.
Staring hazy cloud. Eggs Benedict. 3am sleepless.
She blew smoke rings. Round pegs. Ashtray eyes.
Match sticks, vulnerable, struck heat. No more.


Orange Bike

He dared me.
Party, after party. Drunk.
Gay. Not me. Maybe?
Never sure. Never cared.
That was a kiss. So what?
Laughter, we followed
with whispered. Maybe?
Then New York. Magnetic.
Over and out.
Never again. Only a kiss.
No regret. Philadelphia was my courage. Orange bike.


Summer Lover

She. Beautiful, brown.
Black.
Stronger than aware.

My heart scraping
sidewalk gum. Sneakers
She was smiling.

Acting. Poet. Proud.
We were different. Same
Everyone kisses
like magic
at first.

White. Me. Nervous.
Brown. Her. Hesitant
Lips, soft. We were free

We stopped. Summer,
overheated. Modern lovers.
Radiator cool. She Was.

Three New Poems

Pills

Crushing pills, formica
Cold cuts. Tender touch
Rolled twenties. Credit card, chop, dice, tap.
Nose burns, tears swell.
Corduroy jacket, sweaty pants. Break the bone.
Slit wrist bath tub gin.
Blood orange, blue moon
Call me. Dawn. Call me.


School Daze

High school, wretched memory, Fuck
Grated my skin to bits. Parmesan ghost.
Priestly garb, clerical collar, choking victims.
Student body, body shaming, phobias.
Catholic cross crusted Christ. Nailed, bullied.
Fuck the nostalgia.
My classmates were cruel. They are. Repression.


Fuel

When you try to die
so much
it becomes a lifestyle

Blood letting us just
a ritual
in letting everyone down

Death trades us in
for rust
and artists that matter

So together we
sink into
our best impressions

Midwestern eyes
only see
burning hope as fuel

On Walt Whitman’s 200th Birthday – A Poem

Happy birthday Walt Whitman
Two hundred times remembered
Words engraved, memorized, preserved
Immortal haunting poetically still

Dear sir, please, look not away
Though this, not, you spoke beautiful true
Forgive us, if it to be your desire
Selfishly wrecked such fragile beauty

On the rotting wood docks Atlantic
Creaking lapped wave lapping
Once booming bustle freedom
Vacant lonely ghost ship serenade

O’ Brooklyn, sweet Brooklyn weep
Through hustle step toe run around
Manhattan masks sorrows gentrified
Burnt contract breeched profit smoke

Nature chokes a gasping cough
Water spits up trash can careless
Floating death absorbing lethal
Melting we, doomsday countdown

Rest assured, poetic pens still scratch
Birds sing sonnets to the bloom of spring
Ships sail, lovers love, dreamers dream
Baseball played as once remembered

New York is New York, in ways
Though men ruin with thirsty lust
Shameful yet ghosts remain reminding
It began before the rusted age of greed

America, still beautiful messy beloved
Still, rivers, rushing, gushing, into open seas
Poetry matters, more so, ever still
Walt Whitman, your words, more so, ever still

Identity Crisis (A Poem)

Identity Crisis

I’m a man
If that makes you happy
I can’t agree fully
I don’t know what I am
A crumbled newspaper
Insignificant stain
I’m gutter gum sticky
White, sure, but filthy
All constructed bullshit
I’m zero
Nothing
You have made me what you wish
I just don’t give a shit
Anymore
——————————
Artwork – Identity 2019

Banjo Pete – (Happy 100th)

May 3rd was the 100th anniversary of Pete Seeger’s birth. This is a poem I wrote about him a few years ago.

Banjo Pete

You sang about the unions
You spoke to those in need
Carried a banjo on your back
Picking when you needed to sing
From the Hudson valley
To the western shoreline
Telling stories about the heartland
A friend to all you met along way
Even those who wanted to destroy you
Your songs were hymns of reconciliation
In groups the harmonies rang true
Alone you gently got em to sing along
Freedom chants and peaceful protests
Just a smile for the working man
The woods were your happy country
The rivers made you feel alive
On top of mountains a yodel carried
Down on the street you spoke to the young
Years of love for music and peace
For rights and for things to change
When you died we mourned a hero
More so we just sang the anthems of the day

Eating Tom Waits

I ate a Tom Waits record
A1 and ketchup
Picked it up biting down
It was chewy crunch vinyl
Trying to taste the pain
Savor the songwriting
Sharp edges cut my inner cheek
Blood filled old holes
where teeth grew
I squished it into my left side
Chipmunk pouch-like juicy
Afraid to swallow the metallic taste
I felt the chunks of albums
Ripping my stomach to shreds
I spit the blood in the sink
Looking in the mirror I saw my age
No longer teen queen
No longer twenties two tone
Not even dirty thirty
I was grey and cold
Salt and pepper poetic
Lyric lacerating inner self
I ate a Tom Waits record