I have published some seven collections and have a thousand poems floating around the web but more important to me is if someone I don't know sends me an email telling me they enjoy my work.
I got a message from a poetry magazine
saying I had been longlisted for inclusion.
I can't remember
ever getting that before.
I can't even remember being
Either you are in or out.
I couldn't help but
see the editors sitting around in some room
arguing the merits of their favourite poem for hours.
I guess it gives them something to do
because I can tell you in twenty seconds if a poem is any good
and this one is not
but it has a good title
one that should be used more often.
The Longest Day
Every day is like two days
I wake up
do some stuff
eat some food,
then fall asleep.
Wake up and do it all again
I am getting double the life of anybody else.
Billy No Mates
The guy who lives around the corner
who never talks to me
got on my bus.
As we got to the last stop
I could see he was fast asleep.
I thought about waking him up
and telling him it was the last stop
We could walk to the pub together
and share a beer, become friends.
Ten minutes later
I am sitting in the pub with my beer
and he is probably back to where he started.
I Wanna Be Your Dog
I Saw Iggy
must have been forty years ago
doing his thing on stage
I could never imagine him selling
car insurance or whatever shit it was then.
Looked like one of the craziest bastards i had ever seen.
Maybe life kills us all
one way or another.
Little by little
day by day
but it kept him alive
and me too
and now I can't get that song out of my head.
I watched Berryman
in that pub in Dublin
spouting out crazy poems
and I thought
there is no way
they would ever give him any recognition
but for once
I was wrong.
Alaska and Hell
even those lazy bastards the birds haven't got up.
and these endless words in my head
that never go away.
So up I get and get them out
you can see why so many poets go crazy
or lock themselves in a room
with as much drink as they can get hold of.
If I lived in Alaska
I could get away with never going out
but the trouble is I miss the sun too much
I like to let it burn me
if only hell had some sun.
I told him
if I did not come back for any reason.
A car crash
or arrested for chatting up a woman and thrown in jail.
He might have to ring the school up
don't bother ringing your mother up I said.
She won't change her plans.
I tried to teach him how to make a sandwich
but he didn't take to it
preferred those bags of nuts.
Like all things in my life I was half serious
I never take anything full serious.
Well Read but No College Education
I learnt that you were only as good as your credit
you could not stay married to your sister.
From Dreiser I learnt about temptation
and how quick a man can fall.
Hesse told me I could not do something
so of course I did it only to remember later that Trochi had already done it.
From Knut I learnt
what it was to always be somewhere else
even though you could only be you.
I learned you could fall into hell
and still come out the other side
I learnt the same thing from that crazy Russian.
Henry spoke to me
as if we were the same man
as I died a little every day in that soulless job because I didn't have the courage to leave.
Cheevor and Roth spoke to me too
Chuck taught me many things
and he told me about Fante
but probably the most important thing he taught me was
it was okay
to be a little crazy.
©2014 Marc Carver