Good Things You Should Know

by Ryan Collins


There are more valuable things you can steal than a human heart,
even for an emergency transplant. There are better things
to shave than your face or a moose & better places for a mullet
than on your head. There are safer things to borrow than your
neighbor’s child, because to them their child is perfect & you
can only spoil that perfection. There are more relevant trophies
to win than an Oscar or a Grammy. There are more important signs
to follow than you find in the zodiac or along interstate highways.
There are better places to find yourself than in a desert or in a goldfish
bowl or in a goldfish bowl in the desert. There are easier languages
to learn than Braille or American Sign or Sanskrit. There are better
things to eat when visiting Iowa than crab cakes, like pork shanks
or grilled corn or Magic Mountains. There is more to the stars
than shining, more satellites than you’d care to admit tracking your
every move, more to the moon than landing or golf or the impact
that created the Sea of Tranquility. There are marsupials other than
those you see on advertisements for Australian vacations. There are
better chances to take than to knowingly hitchhike with a killer &
you understand this perfectly. You’re just happy when you catch a ride.


Ryan Collins is the author of A New American Field Guide & Song Book (H_NGM_N Books, 2015), and several chapbooks. His poems have appeared in Another Chicago Magazine; Diagram; Forklift, Ohio; Handsome; Ninth Letter; PEN Poetry Series; Verse Daily; and elsewhere. He hosts the SPECTRA Poetry Reading Series in Rock Island, IL, where he lives.