haymarket
Poetry by PJ Carmichael

 

Best-Selling Authors

Who’s been chasing the New York
Times’ best-seller list again?

I’ve been chasing my own tail
for the past few years,
entertained the idea of
freak show success,

but they’re not hiring.
Besides,

there’s too many
willing and eager
to exploit faulty faculties.

A get-rich- quick scheme,
the lowest common denominator,
chronicles of each fleeting moment:

I’ve dug my own grave
and there’s no use getting out now.

But I guess one man’s trash
is another man’s Bible,
one man’s codex, another’s torch,
and on and on…

Accomplices fill their bookshelves
with unread trophies, the semblance
of sanity, paperback paperweights,
hardcore hardcovers, an impressive assortment
of irrelevant eloquence.

To swallow flavorful fantasies
in the current fashion or
remain hidden in plain view,
a flash of obscurity among thieves?

These artifacts will bury me
six feet under ground.

 

America is Killing Its Youth

Screen time unlimited:
blue light and tiny pills
in a tiny room with
gasps and shrieks from
the radio, from the patrons,
from your sons and daughters.

(This is what the television
had warned me about and
what the magazines had advertised.)

Touch is a lucid dream,
a tangible lust, body and blood,
a dopamine drip, a holy orgasm,
a product of the times,
a peaceful death.

(Time and our makeup:
now running out.)

 

As Scene in Boston

“The World is Chaos.”

We are all
one

in seven billion

the Earth and
my heart

are melting
and I

cannot remember
the words to this song.

(A weathered face
erodes outside the
station

her eyes become
storm clouds

with each passing
day.)

Wearied weather
amplifies the soundtrack
to an ever-changing
climate

with this one
huffing fumes

and puking in
an alleyway.