Two Poems by Ryan Downum


What Remains is Modesty 

I gnaw at the moon
with a wrong set of teeth.

A man swallows fire
with sticks in his throat.

Everything so small
in the dark!

There are many ways to hide
secrets in static, in birdsongs.

How to enunciate maps
of threaded ghosts.

The only thing I can give
you is a vision of drifting.



A Calendar With No Sense of Urgency 

If you think about something
long enough in the rain,

you’re bound to feel guilty.
I sit with leaves on my lap.

My cat swats at nothing
in the kitchen corner.

Some things are better said
as an elegy. Some days, it’s

feeling like a vampire.
Some days, it’s feeling

like a tiny boat at the edge
of an expanding darkness.


Ryan Downum is a recent graduate from Knox College. Poems of his have been published in H_NGM_N, BOAAT, Pretty Owl Poetry, Witch Craft Magazine, and Bear Review.

Nooks Krannie Answers the Questionnaire (19)
spacerHow do you take your coffee?

I take it with a bit of milk and sometimes with a spoon of cocoa powder when I’m feeling extra awesome.

Tell us a little about the experience of making the work you have featured in REALITY BEACH.

I wrote these 5 poems in a batch, that’s how I usually work writing stuff in a batch. I wrote these after coming home from an extra snobby art exhibit reception and I also saw the new Bond movie the same day. The 1st and the 5th poem are about these two events. I was so happy when all these 5 found a home together!

Tell us about the poems you’ve been writing.
They are about the usual every day things around me and my life, I have the weirdest imagination so they come out the way they do.

Where can we buy some ?
You can buy my first chapbook veryyy soon, it’s called ‘I have hard feelings & I wish I could quit chocolate’, being published by Moloko House, a press based in Chicago

What’s the last thing you burned?
I can’t remember, I don’t usually burn stuff.

Where is your beach?
I think it’s an unpopular opinion but I’m not big into beaches! But as some place that I feel good and relaxed, my beach is my studio where I make art happen! I feel best when I’m being creative.
What’s the best line on the fifth page of the poetry book closest to you?
There isn’t a poetry book but the book closest to me is Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood (one of my fav books!) The best line of the fifth page I think is “All I’m left holding is a background, sheer scenery with no people up front.”

What is your favorite dance move? Please Describe.
I don’t know what it’s called but I love the pretending-to-spin-a-record-like-a-DJ-with-one-hand-on-your-ear dance move. I think it’s cool, lol.

What’s the ebb reveal?
Ok. No idea.
Make sure to read Nooks’ poems in REALITY BEACH ISSUE ONE.