• Charles M. Carico

Two poems


The blasted atoms of the past spin in the organism that decays in the belly of now. Memories of coffee with my mother. I smell the cool menthol of her Salem lights. She smiles with nicotine gapped front teeth that were never altered.

They didn't do that in her day.

She is mist in the wave of offenders.

They want to talk to me.

Contact is a foreign land that fires the wrong neurons and brings up the dirty past. Each touch references their crime. We should all be wearing hazmat suits.

If only there were a blue pill to take to bring me back to 1989.

On Violence

Look at Neanderthal man.

We think we once were

driven by hunger

and cold,

learning to hunt,

then plow.

Made a world we'd never know now.

On TV actors are super

spies, vigilantes, and monsters.

Guns and knives are shiny justice, power

wielded by pretend heroes

risen from lost hopes

that break the law

to exact final vengeance

for your entertainment.

Prisoners sit and wait

for chow, nutriloaf, noodles,

and bad cabbage

(for the one-thousandth time--only 9000 left to go).

Don't believe TV

or you'll be waiting

with me.

Science teaches the long progression,

evolution of trees two feet, climate

change, and a giant asteroid crater

in Mexico. Religion teaches

we were made of dirt,

life and purpose breathed into us.

Prophets and scientists

look to the sky and ask why?

When they figure it all out

it will be tee time

inside the pearly gates

or in the mothership’s belly.

Pyramids and ancient temples

were built by real people

vastly smarter than we ever could hope to be.

And they still looked to the sky

to ask why.

There is no answer

there is only is...



Charles M. Carico is an inmate in a facility in Virginia. He is a Gulf War veteran.

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