Blood Diamonds

   When it comes to comprehending numbers,
   don't listen to the poets -
   if they understood basic math,
   they wouldn't be poets.
   Listen to the accountants, instead.

   A poet will sing how 
   13 is an unlucky number
   (no feat of the imagination there).
   She may even pull out her license
   and irrationally rhyme 
   how some numbers are unethical.

   As if ethics applies to math and money.

   An accountant will cogently observe
   that no matter what 13 may be
   it is not a big number.
   17 is bigger - though still not big.
   27, 32, 50, and 59 are big
   but no bigger than a modest PR problem.

   13 does not make a synagogue a concentration camp.

   Especially when 13 is actually 12
   because the killer was 1.

   The accountant will clarify 
   that 12 is much smaller than
   billions.

   The poet will protest:
   billions is the sound of 
   outdoor concerts becoming killing fields
   and classrooms becoming slaughterhouses.
   Poets call those children and concertgoers
   blood diamonds.

   An accountant now concerned about the bottom line
   will counter that "blood diamonds" is
   a misleading and malicious metaphor
   manufactured by malcontent poets
   to cynically incite the sympathies of simpletons.

   There hasn't been a market for blood diamonds in years.

   So children and concertgoers are not blood diamonds.
   They aren't even innocent bystanders - 
   because they were terrified,
   when the shooting started,
   and tried to run away.

   If you must name them,
   the accountant will conclude that 
   the children and concertgoers were
   coal ash or feathers
   or other unavoidable byproducts
   of businesses worth billions.

   What, the accountant would like to know,
   is a poem worth?

   Luvgood Carp, Chief Editor

   First published in The Broadkill Review

Frodo and the Hedge Fund of Loneliness

When I was 156 months old, I was ignorant and delighted to be so. When I turned 157 months old, my family moved to a tiny and disturbing land where the money-minded natives used lacrosse sticks for everything. Working, eating, knitting, fornicating (ouch). Everything.

This strange place was called Connecticut, which means “hedge fund of loneliness” in Algonquian. Much like the winters there, I became sullen and dark. My sole refuge was the local library where I hid from everyone. It was easy to do. The place didn’t sell anything, so no one went there.

That’s where I found The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and my life was saved. The story is full of great and awful beings, but I became fast friends with Frodo. He too was a diminutive creature who saw ignorance as a blessing. Then he was sent to a cursed land on a doomed mission. Frodo got me through that first summer. He made all the difference in the world. While I was still frequently angry and sometimes lonely, I now had allies. Thousands of them. All waiting for me to read their stories.

Tengo Leche, Social Anxiety Scholar

Home Leaving

   I stole a frozen chicken
   and tried some Voodoo.
   I prayed to Shiva
   but I'm not Hindu.
   Magic 8 ball said gotta go.
   The lucky charm I rubbed 
   was actually just a dildo.
   I brought to Jesus
   all my desperate pleas,
   but though he loves the poor
   he loves us on our knees.

   So when's your home not your home?

   When it's owned by the bank
   you dumb fuck,
   and the bank wants you out.

   I diligently worked my way
   down every dead end street
   taking every detour I could take - 
   like rubbing a dildo for hours
   until my hands ached.

   Now the neighbors line the street.
   Police pound at my door.
   Mr. Diligent Dumbfuck went and got a gun
   because dildos won't do anymore.

   Luvgood Carp, Chief Editor

Mrs. Muzzle

   By Monday morning,
   a furious Mrs. Muzzle
   pounced on Uncle's lap,
   took her petite paw
   and gave his smirking lips
   several wicked smacks.

   But he continued to talk
   as if he was used to that 
   repeating a tedious tale
   about a dubious time
   when Smear the Queer
   was a Hunger Game
   the neighborhood kids 
   would play.

   And everyone was proud and happy
   though no one was proud and gay.

   Problem people stayed silent 
   otherwise they were gagged,
   and proper people spoke English
   with a Midwest accent -
   the same one Jesus had.

   Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief