Ryan Hardgrove

by Horror Sleaze Trash on March 20, 2013


Ryan Hardgrove, I am 26 years of age and write poetry/short fiction.  I am also a musician.  I serve drinks to my fellow degenerates of Pittsburgh, PA and spend my days investigating the fragments that make up the whole.



The Patrons (patronized)


The ones that come alone

are usually dull beyond


Some are interesting

low eyes

dark secrets

but they are especially rare

As I’ve already made clear

most are excruciatingly banal

You can feel their dullness

It is almost unbearable

like an abhorrent odor

though it has nothing

to do with the olfactory system

It is simply something else entirely

They pay with dimes

quarters, sofa change

bus fare beers

and 2 dollar stories

A few spades

work on a pack of menthols

like hyenas on a wounded



Oh, and the music these barflies

listen to, it is absolutely horrid

the tracks they conjure out of the juke box

are inconceivably unoriginal

And not only that,

they play the same 4 or 5 tracks

repeatedly, as if they were not

already monotonous enough

It is truly upsetting

(not the music alone)

but the fact that these people

(of the same flesh and blood as me)

can cherish these vile tracks as they do

I feel myself being pulled

further out

the shore growing further away

and although it is the current that tows me

I do not contest

The paddles were beat to splinters years ago

tossed to sea

I do dip my hand in the water

now and again

just for kicks


Ahh, the radio picks back up

as the repetitive onslaught

of electronic noises fade out

Chopin and his floating piano

They do not like this music

They casually gripe

behind blue cigarette smoke

tipping in their bar stools


This music is not familiar to them

they can not relate

for they do not understand

They grasp on to familiarity

and they sink

with the anchor of mediocrity

that naturally comes along with it

They keep filling in the juke

cash they could be giving to me


for tolerating their ceaseless bullshit

I really do hate them at times

It has nothing to do with

race or gender

I do not discriminate

They are all a putrid lot


Fat white business women

devour vodka red-bulls

near the door

They move around the table

slapping each other around the


merrily flapping their

fat shiny lips

apparently celebrating their

homogeneous obesity

They will masturbate


their subject matter

being brief encounters

they’ve had with men

during the course of their day

I pray I am not on the menu

this is my fear

how strange, to be concerned by this

am I becoming a paranoid asexual?

Will I soon dissolve

into a vague pile

of fibrous coils?

A heaping mass of

visceral tissue

throbbing with awareness

lost in a state

of perpetual analysis


I do not want to lose my cock

I do not want to lose my balls

I do not want to lose my lover



But I fear

I am floating further out

and these patrons remind me

how far from shore I really

have drifted


I have nothing in common

with these people


How depressing

to consciously be so disconnected

from my own human brethren


I like to believe they

are disconnected from me

This must be true


Truth is only relevant

within one mind

one perception

So I guess I shouldn’t blame them

but I do

I truly do

These patrons I peddle booze to

a couple of days a week

I blame them for everything


Also, I blame myself, of course


as I’ve made clear

I do not discriminate



So when they all leave

and I’m left to sweep up

their soiled cocktail napkins

and cigarette butts


I’ll do it with pride

and Chopin will

again brighten this

dim hole in the world

Or maybe Ludwig will join me

what luck that would be!



A Delving Morning Shit (afterthoughts)


fill it in,

fill up with something,

fill in the holes,

Fill up the bottle of anti-depressants,

anti-acids, anti-pain, anti-feeling,

bottled hope,

well, not hope, but a reprieve from despair,

every 4-6 hours, four times a day, or as otherwise directed,

let the doctor decide how little you should feel,

how numb you deserve to be,

but the doctor may be wrong,

and discretionary use,

may become the mandate.


What happened? What’s wrong?

You lost someone, you have no one, you cry too much,

you’re always tired, you’re an alcoholic, you’re a raging sociopath,

you’re gay, you can’t get a hard on, you’re scared of the dark,

you’re suicidal, you hate lesbians, you’re scared of dogs,

you work too much, you’re poor, you’re fat,

your girlfriend, fiancé, boyfriend, wife, is an irrefutable cunt,

you’re a junkie, you can’t stop eating wads of paper,

you are just regular old dumb, you’re ugly, you’re constipated,

you’re fucked.

Your anxiety crawls up your back and screams into your ears.

Take a pill, or something similar,

Fuck yourself, or somebody similar


We are all just acid fat burning off near the edge of the pan,

We are all just humping air, counting days, atom collision,

We are all just dancing little turds clutching onto the slippery porcelain,

trying not to be flushed, before, before, before, before, before, before…






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