Hallmark Cards

   Hallmark has nice sentiments,
   but they meander the gentle slopes
   of meadows laced with buttercups
   pollinated by crisp dollar bills.
   And we are too smart for the platitudes
   of enterprises that print treacle for profit.

   At least that's what William and Mary say.
   Though they annually ask us for money,
   so they would say that anyway.

   There is also no denying the obvious:
   we have been lucky - so far. 

   Though we have stumbled on rocky trails,
   slipped on slick foothills
   and blundered over blue ridges,
   we've never had to scale the Himalayas.

   So while there have been obstacles,
   we have overcome them hand in hand.

   But perhaps that is simply 
   the Hallmark card in me speaking -
   the one that blithely assumes
   our journey has been one and the same.

   Maybe your path has been different.  

   Maybe you climb Himalayan peaks everyday.

   Maybe I am being foolish and insecure.

   But that exhausted look on your face
   suggests you ran uphill for miles today
   while I walked meters on smooth linoleum.

   Then there are these scattered scraps of paper -
   fuzzy phrases that spawn insipid poems
   parading my mostly muddled thoughts on everything.
   You can find them everywhere.

   And then there's you.
   Furtively writing in a diary
   I can never find.
   And I have looked everywhere.

   Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief

   First published in Blue Lake Review

   

Crows

   I like how you describe that poem
   more than the poem itself.
   You see things I don't,
   and the things you see have deep meanings -
   deeper perhaps than the poet intended.

   You see birds symbolizing change.
   The young leave the old
   and neither knows the impact of the parting.
   Shockingly this lack of comprehension is of no consequence
   because there is love in the leaving.

   Even after reading the poem several times,
   I see crows.



   I am not sure you are right,
   but I know you are not wrong.

   You amaze me.



   I would like to see that poem as you see it.
   But whenever I see you and me in a mirror,
   I am reminded:
   you have poor eyesight and a temperament that is too tender.
   They are your most egregious shortcomings,
   and I have benefitted from both.

   Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief and Adjunct Professor for Student Loans

   First published in The Oddville Press 

Anne

   You are all the poems
   I cannot write.
   You are all the words
   I dare not speak -
   not because they would deceive
   but because they would disappoint.

   So these words
   (knowing my perverse reliance on flippancy and sarcasm
   as shield and sword to repel every honest sentiment)
   prefer to be stillborn.

   It is ironic really
   because with everything else
   my words run rampant.
   There is no end to all the thoughtless things I say.

   But with you -
   words disdain my tongue
   and silence shields me from repelling you.

   Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief and Adjunct Professor for Student Loans  

   First Published in Ariel Chart 

Miss Disdain

   When all the months were hot July
   and I was barely in my teens,
   I met a sullen girl with a fiery eye
   that she always directed towards me.

   Such disdain drove me to distraction;
   her antipathy struck me as wise.
   She taught joy brings no satisfaction,
   and scorn is Love's truest disguise.

   Miss Disdain grew up and multiplied,
   and I delighted in each fury's spite.
   Being aware of all the flaws that I hide,
   their indifference could only be right.

   She was the alpha of all cruel passions
   whose touch made lesser men wince,
   and in various forms and fashions
   I have chased Miss Disdain ever since.

   Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief and Adjunct Professor for Student Loans 

A Prayer for Less Love

   I've heard what you say in the name of love
   and your favorite word is no.

   I've seen what you do in the name of love
   because the purple bruises still show.

   You say you're a man of love
   but that sounds dangerous to me,

   so bring me no more love
   and show me simple courtesy.

   Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief and Adjunct Professor for Student Loans

   First published in Ariel Chart 

Let the Poets Sleep Guilt Free

   Love takes nothing I don't freely give -
   so let the poets sleep guilt free.
   Though they tell shameless lies 
   and unwelcome truths,
   they can't grow roses on the moon.

   A poem won't cure cancer
   or stop a middle-aged man
   from being a bore.
   Poetry can't make me see 
   what I would rather ignore.
   And I choose to ignore a lot:
   how that look on your face is smug;
   or how you're the salt of the Earth
   and I'm the slug.

   Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief and Adjunct Professor for Student Loans

   First published in Scarlet Leaf Review

Love Mark

Love dashed out the door with a surprising speed not suspected before.
So I pulled on my pants and chased her to the lawn, but Love
had turned the corner and she was gone.  Love must have had
her running shoes on.

So I jumped in my car and drove all around, searched the whole town
with a trusty bloodhound, but when Love left she covered her track.
Now my wife's jewelry is gone, and Love demands bitcoins, or
she won't bring it back.

Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief and Adjunct Professor for Student Loans