A Daughter Leaves for College

For eons or mere minutes on the clock
among marble mansions on a cliffside walk
or sewage-filled streets in a shantytown,
if you shimmer in silk or wear a paper crown -
110 degrees or snow sideways blowing -
should you be lost or know where you're going,
whether friends are plenty or few,
I will walk with you.

Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief

Do You Pretend to be a Poet? Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Hello readers of this pointless blog. I am supposedly Luvgood’s father. That’s what I’ve been told, at least – even though every blood test has come back “inconclusive”. More importantly – I own every hotel on Block Island. But please don’t pigeonhole me. I am so much more than that. I am human, and I also own hotels in Connecticut.

When Luvgood informed me that he was going to devote his life to poetry, I told him don’t quit your day job. So then he quit his day job. And he has been asking me for money ever since. Being a good father, I have refused. He obviously needs to grow up and quit pursuing his dreams.

As an older, distinguished white man, I am burdened with the responsibility of constantly giving unsolicited advice. If you are pursuing your dreams, don’t quit your day job. I need workers. I need to support my lavish lifestyle. Don’t be selfish.

Knowgood Carp, Owner of All the Hotels on Block Island (and Some in Connecticut)

The Court of Last Resort

It’s easy to know when I’m about to make a bad student loan. I ask 3 questions. Is the borrower studying for a degree in social work? Is the borrower attending a for-profit college like Pungent Sound Technical College of Technology? Does the borrower want a career where she selfishly works to help other people?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, the borrower will never be able to pay back the $200,000.00 loan I am about to give her. Still, I make the loan. Then I hound her all the way to bankruptcy court. If she can’t discharge the loan (and usually you can’t), I continue to hound her after bankruptcy.

If I were lovable, the bankruptcy court would be my lover. The relationship will be wildly dysfunctional. But the sex would be charged and dangerous. I wrote a poem about it.

The Court of Last Resort

Some of us get a dime
even though a dollar is due
and some of us pay a dime
even when we have so few.

So everyone here has
lots of reasons to lie
because in the court of last resort
you keep what you can hide.

Titmouse Beak, President of Pungent Sound Community Bank

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, Editor-in-Chief

   First published in The Broadkill Review

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, Editor-in-Chief

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

Twins

   Unlike some gentlemen,
   I was never tempted by twins.
   They never captivated me -
   until that pink-driven spring
   when I encountered your proud peaks
   in a downy form-fitting sweater.
   Then I couldn't get twins off my mind.

   I will also confess surprise
   that you pounced upon my timid feeler.
   I expected you three to ignore me.
 
   Even more - 
   I expected you to run
   after that first fumbling night
   of errant probes and prods,
   but you stayed.

   Eventually, winter came,
   but you did not come with it.
   That left me cold and relieved.

   There was a time
   during that fevered summer 
   when I was concerned 
   I should love you less.
   But that would have been impossible.

   Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief

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

   

Thoughts on the Dangers of Pretending to be a Poet (Part 3)

The dangers are legion, but this post pertains to mockery.

The harshest, obviously, is from your parents. “You are wasting your time and embarrassing the family,” my father says. Then he adds. “No one reads them anyway.”

“How can my poems embarrass the great Carp name if no one reads them?”

“Your unread poems aren’t the embarrassment. You are.”

My mother is gentler. “Muckypants, can you really be a poet if no one reads your poems?”

“You read my poems, Mom.”

“Oh, yes, that’s . . . right. Of course, I do. They’re very . . . quite long, aren’t they?”

Well, I think they’re only as long as they need to be.”

“Oh, bless your heart.”

As anyone from Roanoke will tell you – if someone says “bless your heart,” you just said something stupid.

Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief

Thoughts on the Dangers of Pretending to be a Poet (Part 2)

The dangers are legion, but I will focus on the primary ones. This post deals with self-loathing.

There is one constant when you pretend to be a poet – rejection. 117% of my poems have been rejected by poetry journals I have never heard of. I don’t think I even sent a poem to some of them. Have poetry journals joined the military-industrial complex? Do they use blanket rejections as pre-emptive strikes?

It takes a massive ego to suffer these slings and arrows. I forget who coined that phrase. It was probably McDonald’s. Fortunately, a massive ego is the only thing about me that’s big. Wait, that came out wrong. Good thing I haven’t posted this yet.

Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief