Poetry: Selections from Carson Pytell

Definitely a Deathbed Testimonial

My grandson, I love you...
but you're a fuck up like me.
No shit, if I could do it all again,
and there's no god damn chance to,
I'd do everything I've done backwards.
Yeah, pot is fun. It's fun. Fun.
You wake up and toke? Jackass.
Have a day. Work. Deserve it at the end.
Pot makes you high no matter what. CBD?
That's not even pot, dammit! Just tastes like it.
One time, though, saw it on the television,
it was a case of a kid like any child, like you,
except he had epilepsy. Kid and dad, it was bad.
The Kid had one dose of that non psychoactive stuff,
and Dad said it had him safe and whistling for two weeks.
Do you not understand me by now?
You aren't quite here and I'm not even close.
You just believe I am, dreaming of me and kids.
So listen, shit head: we're 29, don't go at it like me.
Get a job, land a wife, make kids. Forget about life.
Life's not been great to me, don't care for it all that much.
More of a sentence than an opportunity. There's things,
but that thought alone kills me. You must not stand it
that every time has you knelt to it. My son of my own
I dreamt of and expected; I love you, clock in. Good luck.

I am a patient boy...

  ...I wait, I wait, I wait, I wait.
But I'd still have liked a lot more time
before that song was covered to death
by D.C. bands, North American, International,
the fuckin' School of Rock in Cleveland. Of Rock?
Before you knew it,
the cover part I mean,
that track was gold.
You're supposed to
learn at school. Like to
leave well enough alone.
Then again, I'm not doing anything myself
by saying this. I'm a fuckin' millennial. Shit.
Ya know, it's just that drum line, its vulturing
I guess. Look at us, we carrion. Indefinite hiatus.


We get old. That's about it, though;
a toppled hourglass, a little sand left
on one side. But who's to say which
except for whoever sees it and decides
who started it for what and if they started
it at all or just left it here knocked over.
Bust up as long and often as you can.
Everybody ever been here to love will die,
then the whole damned world will end.

I Tried Titling This Poem Something Funny and Latin

Always is this world of a calico and killer
one where which the mouse gets away.
When all's puss and pathology it's never that
their curds could sour furthermore savored.
Certainty notwithstanding, I've got me,
my traps, litter, strange neighbors and a job.

Carson Pytell is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominated writer living outside Albany, New York, whose work has appeared widely in such venues as The Adirondack Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, Rabid Oak, The Heartland Review andBackchannels. He serves as Assistant Editor of the journal Coastal Shelf and participated in the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project in December of 2020. His first four chapbooks; First-Year (Alien Buddha Press, 2020), Trail (Guerrilla Genesis Press, 2020), The Gold That Stays (Cyberwit, 2021) and Sketching (Impspired, 2021), are now available.


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