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 

Bishop’s Hole Published in Edge of Humanity Magazine

We would like to sincerely thank Edge of Humanity Magazine for publishing our poem, Bishop’s Hole. A link to the poem is here. https://edgeofhumanity.com/2021/06/27/bishops-hole/

Or if you like, you can read it below.

Bishop’s Hole

   Oh, the games we played in Bishop’s Hole,
   but the foul winds have begun to blow
   so once again it's time to go.

   Even though it's hard,
   I must leave this behind.
   That's what the rector said,
   and he does have a good head.
   Granted, this happens all the time.
   It's why we installed a pipeline,
   which can send me anywhere
   because Bishop's Holes are everywhere.

   But still it's hard
   and I'm leaving quite a mess,
   but reputations must be protected,
   so there's nothing here to confess.
   When I think about the good we inflict
   this only gives my conscience a tiny prick.
 
   We lie in the shadow of the Cross,
   so there isn't anything we can't lick.

            *          *          *

   O.K.  That’s enough with the juvenile jabs.
   I've had my fun, and it's cruel to taunt.
   Let's get serious for a moment.

   We told you that we would fix things,
   and you had faith.
   Then you learned that we continued 
   to rape your children and cover it up.
   You even found our pedophile pipeline.
   That was awkward for us.

   So we promised to stop for real.
   And you believed us, but we lied.  Again.
   No rational person should have believed us.
   But you did.

   You continued to give us your children,
   and we continued to prey.
   You trusted us - the black vultures you should have feared.
   And we never did a single thing to earn your trust.

   After all that, shouldn't you be the ones condemned?

            *          *          *
   Have you noticed how we love gold veneer?
   It's everywhere, and it's immaculate
   as long as you don't stand too near.

   We've made the luster last all these years,
   because we polish the gold with your children's tears.
   Those tears run like torrents between the pews.
   It's like Noah's Flood.

   And there's nothing else we will do.

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

The Honor Men

   Good God - 
   I almost forgot the Honor Men!
   Those pillars of conformity
   with their orange blazers
   and Jeffersonian rectitude,
   afflicting us with their boozy breath
   and stale pretensions in the rotunda.

   And look how rotund they've grown to be!

   They're oranges teetering on toothpicks;
   oranges soaking in whiskey
   squirting bourbon when squeezed;
   oranges that should have been left
   to rot on the trees.

   Humor the Honor Men!
   For they upheld the Hypocritic Oath
   as long as their withered arms could.

   Humor them
   because their members have shriveled
   and their influence has petered out -
   leaving them petulant and confused
   because their time has come and gone.

   But what will happen to the country clubs?
   Who will boldly sail the shallow waters of our bays?
   Who will smoke cigars and waylay waitresses?
   Who will presume to know what everyone wants?

   Just as I think these thoughts,
   a vast image of the Tower of Babel
   troubles my sight.
   And hundreds of disparate parties
   espousing thousands of opposing beliefs
   swell on the lawn like some tumorous growth;
   each wearing orange
   and each vowing to uphold the Hypocritic Oath.

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

   First published in Scarlet Leaf Review  

Sergeant Salvation Published in Edge of Humanity Magazine

We would like to sincerely thank Edge of Humanity Magazine for publishing our poem Sergeant Salvation. A link to the poem is here. https://edgeofhumanity.com/2021/06/01/sergeant-salvation

Or if you like, you can read the poem below.

Sergeant Salvation

   Clearly, I suppose,
   the poor have difficulties
   but they push a dumpster
   full of desperation and disease - 
   wasting their meager strength and time
   because they'll never get anywhere
   pushing a dumpster they're inside.

   If there are solutions
   they are difficult and distasteful -
   made more so
   because they're expensive;  
   costing more than I've got.

   So condemn me not, Sergeant Salvation,
   when I put no pennies in your pot
   even as you vigorously beat that bell.

   The poor will get no money from me,
   but they do have my empathy:
   the amount of which is massive
   even if the display is somewhat passive.

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

For the Record

   Scientists on Earth
   believe oxygen on Mars
   is behaving strangely.

   But how would they know?
   They have never visited
   that remote red rock.

   And who made them judges
   of what is normal and what is strange?
   When they know nothing of normal
   and they, themselves, are so strange.

   Have they considered instead
   that maybe oxygen behaves
   normally on Mars and behaves
   strangely on Earth?

   Or maybe oxygen
   can behave no other way
   because Mars is nasty
   and treats oxygen like
   a noxious gas.

   The HR department believes
   I'm behaving strangely.

   But how would they know?
   They have never endured
   the daily indignities
   I am subjected to.

   Have they considered instead
   that maybe I'm behaving normally - 
   given the circumstances?

   Maybe they wouldn't judge
   if you had been nasty to them;
   treated them like a noxious gas;
   left them to live life
   like cockroaches in the dark
   wondering what will happen
   when the light turns on.

   So for the record,
   if there ever is one,
   this is not my fault.

   If you had only returned 
   my calls, texts, emails,
   or come to the door
   when I pounded on it,
   your basement window
   wouldn't be broken.

   I wouldn't be bleeding 
   in your airless closet.

   Luvgood Carp, Chief Editor and Adjunct Professor for Student Loans

   First published in Boston Literary Magazine

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 

The Barren Sand

   1.
   The poor are everywhere
   so they're easy to overlook.
   As when I stand on a beach
   staring at the pregnant sea,
   I forget the barren sand.

   2.

   In a perfect world
   the poor would be taken care of
   so I'm building stockades
   where they can be put.
   With so many everywhere
   it's hard keeping them under my foot.
   Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief and Adjunct Professor for Student Loans

   First published in Scarlet Leaf Review

William

   I lack imagination,
   which is a problem
   when you pretend 
   to be a poet.
   But no matter
   how hard I try
   I cannot imagine
   myself doing it.

   Yet, some scientists say
   there are limitless
   parallel universes
   and perhaps
   in one of them
   one of me
   tackled the beast -
   if only to spite
   those multiples of me
   sitting in stalled trains
   on parallel tracks.

   How I would love 
   to ask that reckless me:
   how did I do it?
   What happened next?
   Did it make
   a difference?

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

   First Published in The Broadkill Review

A Tiny Voice

   Yes, of course, 
   we, too, care about 
   a neglected rose struggling to survive
   among the scattered bricks
   of a crumbling house,
   but we've already done
   all we can.

   Remember
   a child has a tiny voice
   and no money -
   hardly the sturdy platform
   on which to make demands.

   Yet here she stands
   with her small voice,
   empty pockets, and
   accusing eyes,
   while we continue to tell her
   to trust the spider
   who swears
   he wouldn't hurt a fly.

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

First published in The Broadkill Review

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