Saturday, May 8, 2021

some poems

In the haze of the last year, a few poems appeared in these places:

Elderly Mag



Thanks to the editors for doing what you do. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

PDFs of General Motors and Fine Nothing

General Motors and Fine Nothing have recently gone out of print, but you can download and read PDFs of these books from the Internet Archive. Feel free to share.

General Motors is here.

Fine Nothing is here.

Because I am unemployed right now, donations are appreciated. Venmo: @Ryan-Eckes

Thursday, February 6, 2020

wet money

Wet Money is free, thanks to Radical Paper Press. To get a copy, email You can also make donations to the press via paypal to the same email address to help cover postage costs. You can download PDF here.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

General Motors

This book will be going out of print at the end of 2019. Until then, you can order it from Split Lip Press for $10 or get it directly from me (email me at

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Reading at Civitella Ranieri

Here is a reading I gave in a castle in Italy in May:

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Prolit and Recenter

Two new online journals, Prolit and Recenter, both based in Philly, have published some of my poems, which you can read here and here. Thanks to Patrick Blagrave and thanks to Terra Olvr.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Day Jobs

Writer and professor Mike Ingram has a great podcast called Day Jobs in which he talks to artists about making art and making a living. He interviewed me recently about adjuncting, labor organizing, higher education, various jobs and the ways people think about work. You can listen to our conversation here.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

fine nothing

A chapbook of new poems, fine nothing, was just published by Albion Books. Thank you to Brian Teare.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019


As a supplement to Touch the Donkey #18, rob mclennan interviewed me about mixing poetry and essay, influences over time, and how one "becomes" a poet. You can read it here.

Friday, September 21, 2018


every time you mourn a republican
a kitten chokes to death
and it’s back to school
in the smoke of productivity
there’s a pillow in a trash can
in front of my building
houses are for sale up & down
the make-believe
what do you want
a new career
a box fan in the window
a box of old how-to
books on proof
in the pudding
a televised-ass life
gas mileage alone
in the dark
a last laugh that lets you
and beyond what dollar
do you stop meaning
what you say
and wake up on a cruise
where the ocean says leave me alone
from the gutted prayer
in your throat
proving your puppethood
enough to renounce
the profit motive
so we can be friends
and i can stop trying
to solve
my own murder
which is a real drag
since i’m still alive
waiting in line
for my certificate of salvage
from the department of motor vehicles
on a tuesday
if i have to scrape out
someone else's dream
to bury it properly
i will scrape out
someone else's dream
to bury it properly

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


ask me about the labor of liking
a narcissist
and maybe we’ll get to the present
which was whose idea
or my old foolish hope
that one moment of trust would
overcome the relentless branding
of every single person
that is the constant erasure
of difference
and therefore of commonality
that wherever you go in public
you’re a customer feeding
another customer their status
and that you’re expected to smile
for the camera
that that’s normal
that celebrities are gods
who aren’t worried about nazis
or the democrats who serve nazis
while chiding the working class
for not voting
for someone else’s money
what would happen if we stopped
petting the newsfeed
what if there’s a respect that’s only
attainable through solidarity
and what if that solidarity is only
attainable in a street
where you cannot own or control
or manipulate another person
where there’s no such thing
as a president
and presence means mutual aid
and what if this street made us
talk in new ways
and our words led to new kinds
of pleasure that we can barely
imagine right now
and someone said i’m searching
for a home that’s not just a drug
at sunset
and what if we got addicted
to this street
like one can get addicted
to someone who fucks them right
and what if this addiction
started pouring from one street
to another to another
and the streets were full for days
and days that never end
and what if in these days all the pain
and betrayal and abandonment
in every single person’s past
fed one strange collective ego
and in one breath
we stopped taking shit and got each other’s backs
and we rose up like an ocean
and what if in this fantasy
that makes me breathless
at the thought of the end of being used
and the great release of pain
that would be so just
we’d have to make up a new word
for justice—what if even then
the zombie still wanted a cut—

the zombie still wants a cut
so i return my body to my body
to say what it needs to say—

you can use what i love
against me
you can kick my head
into the curb

you can use what i love
against me
you can kick my head
into the curb

you can use what i love
against me
you can kick my head
into the curb

you can lie into the mirror forever
you can you use what i love
against me

you can gaslight the ocean forever
you can kick my head into the curb

you can gaslight the ocean forever
you can kick my head into the curb

you can have yourself
for dinner
you can have yourself
for dinner

the street will still be there
the ocean will be here
the language will be made
the people will be free


because of the pain of your grievances
said the administrator
i will hide behind this brand
as if it were a shield
from the nightmare
that sustains my ego

Sunday, April 22, 2018


"Did the dream of speed begin with the birth of the car? Or was that the dream of escape–of hopping in the car and going, leaving your life and responsibilities behind? And is this desire for speed and escape a particularly American thing?" Gina Myers wrote about General Motors for Fanzine--read it here.

And Noel Black wrote about General Motors and Stephanie Young's new book at Hyperallergic: "Taken together, It’s No Good Everything’s Bad and General Motors feel like a reawakening of old, important truths about labor in new, urgent, and direct poetic forms." Read the whole thing here.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

in the kitchen

Here's one of three chase scenes recorded by Alina Pleskova for the sitting room series--listen/watch more here:

Saturday, March 3, 2018

General Motors

This new book is now in the world, thanks to Split Lip Press. 

To celebrate, I'll be reading with Laura Jaramillo on Saturday, April 14th, 7:30pm at Morning Glory Diner, 10th & Fitzwater, in the FOH'LL reading series. 

Booksellers, you can order copies at a discount directly from the press right here.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Coming soon

from Split Lip Press - you can pre-order it here.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

keeping saint monday

you can always hide in the idea
that no one cares
kick around the desert
waiting for some chin music
to come make it new again
when i think of the years
i think of a line across a page
to erase history & any love
that could gut a house
for good reason
my cold mouth in the wind
like a kite
as i return to work, park
under same hard shadow
where the ear of an organizer
got sliced by ambition
or the police, hard to say
though it’s understood we should
just accept reality, ronald reagan
& mickey mouse are the same
after all, your kids will turn out
fine, unraped & voting
for the rich in the dark
the good life won’t stop
for anyone
there are the tracks
& here is some rope
a rumor of piano
w/ keys of brick
in a cellar
to play for funerals
where we'll finally catch up
& pretend our labor
was our own
so that words are corpses too
& the sermon drones on
canning someone's struggle
like a democrat who won't win
we can play family
until it disappears again
or we can exit the grave
& become something else
just like that, a line across
a page to step over
& a stranger on the other side
to take us in
here, sit down
let me tear this fog
out of your chest

Sunday, November 26, 2017

chase scene

Here's a chase scene published recently in Dusie's Tuesday poem series, edited by rob mclennan.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


because i carry no hope
the moon smears itself
on the trees
like a dirty soda can
from another notebook

on the tip of my tongue
an old feeling’s dream
i hate that word, “dream”
its glassiness of water
in pictures and nothing
under but tomorrow

what a rip, knot in my back
snowballing again
to replace my heart
w/ an amazon headquarters
and more yuppies begging
the super-rich w/ hashtag

please come ruin our city
we promise to help you
tighten the cement
one isolated incident
after another

year one has begun
it is luxurious beyond luxurious
it fits in the overhead bin
it bites my arm off
and pulls me into the sewer
home of the employee-employer
i keep waking up here

i unroll my tongue
like a red carpet
for socialism
we discuss thirst
we discuss the pesticide
in the wheat
we discuss our service
to a revolving door

a movement of people
in the rust of waiting
walk out, mouths opening
like the hands of a clock
running away from each other

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Tripwire 13: Dialogues

The new issue of Tripwire, one of my favorite magazines, is online--"Dialogues"--which includes a chase scene and an email exchange with an anti-union employer--and a whole lot more. You can download a free pdf or buy a print copy. Thanks to David Buuck, the editor.