Not Dead…

 Conversations with a ghost not dead.
Lying alone inside this closet
Deep alone inside not dying.
I am waiting big… for something that might
Just fall from heaven but,
There is
No God.
There is
Just the sound of something dying.
Not Christ,
Not I,
Just a child alone and frightened.

This closet
It sleeps
With dreams of Fathers Punches…
Crushed teeth, fresh bruises…
for he was not behaving.

Making friends with silent shadows
Hiding, too, inside this closet.
Sometimes we can’t breath or see.
Sometimes The Darkness just wants to be seen.
Please… it’s 4 in the morning. Don’t make me hit the streets. So hungry. So tired, and I’m waiting for something to fall from heaven. Again. Not dying.
Lucifer was just mistaken. Forsaken. And shaken. By Thy Father so violent. Then Pushed him, his own son, down from heaven… in hopes that he’d be Forgotten.

“Trust in me, lad, all these words
By man…
Are meant to hurt.
They are not from my Father.
We…The abandoned and
The supposed rotten. No, just haunted. We will never be left so helpless.
It’s dark. For good reasons. Not just for me or the heathen.
In dark, you will see the light from You… not from heaven.
Don’t let abuse make you feel not worthy.
It’s them.
Not you.
Not me. They should be pushed if there is a heaven.
All is not forgiven.
But they will be forgotten.”

This… all whispered from inside this closet.
Soft hands, sweet kisses, true words…
These Conversations with my ghost not dead…

© Carlson 2016


Haunted… She And He

She bleeds.
Cardigan sweater green.
Shot gun chin.
never too late for
“not again.”

Sun burnt scars
Bullet proof stars.
Smells of sin and
gin again.

Dead veins, in hope
Shallow and vain.
Tin foil squares mark the day.
Sold, swollen but not alone.

Together. She and he.
Bored, broken and haunted.
No lies.
No shame.
No hope.
Just love in the dark and holding hands.

© Carlson, 2015


The mere thought of being successful frightens the demons awake and with a fist punch to the throat kick starts anxieties tremor show.
The mere thought of being unsuccessful breeds an anguish in the bones that will drive the ragged to the grave.
Always misunderstood. Born too late while still too soon with a rootless soul. A lonely ferrel kid learning to be an adult.
A D.I.Y. nothing man. Unmarketable talents and a wealth of knowledge from the streets to share. And no pay.
In regards to money. But… Richer then most though. Bride, kids, dog, house, health… and a deep pit of hate, rage, anger, suffering and loneliness.
Not at them.  At… Everyone else.

The forest.
The trees.
The weights.
The pen.
The paper.
The tears.
The rage.
The pain.
The humor.
The guilt.
The running… Physically and mentally. Like a mad monkey that never stops.
The chatter.  That never stops.
The cranium stadium is full. Loud crowds grow and everyone talks at the same time. No focus except the thought of a bat.
Swinging wildly. It’s madness. This was learned and used for safety. But still madness nonetheless.
No one was there.
Now there is and all that can be said is “sorry…”

A closet full of pain, a bed, thoughts, anger, resentment, hatred and clothes that belonged to someone else.
Lights out at 7pm. Sent to the streets by 4:30am. Left to roam until school. Not much to do at 15.
These are moments that make kids who they are. It’s wise to be careful and unselfish with kids. Or they will hate you.
In humor a great mask is worn. With weights one can build a great suit of armor.
With a heart full of words, and a wisp of a pen one can create something from nothing.
Make some sense from nothing.
Perhaps turn someone from nothing?

Born into this? Fine then. Let it burn.


© Carlson, 2014

With Each Breath…

Damp midnight air kissing the upper lip,
The tip of the nose, then caressing the breasts with each slow inhale and exhale.
Then nothing.

Ivory and crossed.
Hips creased but not tight.
Slight chill to the spine as thoughts rise,
Then crash violently hurting the spirit.
Then nothing. Only to start over. And over… again.

Fingers clinching the dirt.
Pure hate warming with love.
Same…ness. Whole…ness… Not dead.
Stabbing the middle of awake and asleep.
Then nothing. But pain… again… Breathe.

Soft. Hurt. Alive. But soul dead.
In. Then out. Hot breath warming the cool night air.
Watching the smoky swirls touch the trees then off to the stars.
The cold moon grows, then spreads it’s legs across the lake gently searching for warmth.
Then nothing. In. Then out. Again…

The mind.
Calm. Then violent while the eyes hunt.
In. Then out. Pounding to a soft dull ache with each wheeze. Then calm.
The aroma of love smacks the lips.
At peace.
With nothing. Again… Over and over.


© Carlson, 2014



To Death With Love

Nothing lasts forever.
Standing barefoot on broken glass drinking to a once again lonely heart.
“Where will it fade?”
The bathroom stall is etched with rhymes and numbers.
The puke drips from her mouth and the last ash from a drenched cigarette falls towards the throne.
She hates her silence.
Her heart slams fast and hard into her chest.
Tired of playing chase for a breath.
The brass from the bullets are cold and full of forgiveness.
“This has to be the end.
The last shake. He can’t win.”
Her stomach aches match the bruises left on her lip.
The blood bubbles up her throat; she spits at the mirror.
The little darling surely won’t live after he left a foot print to the womb.
The pangs tell her it’s so.
She nods towards the mirror filled with tears and hate.
She walks out of the stall and the silence is now a hum of sweet freedom, stale beer, sweat and lonely hearts spilled together.
The bar light preacher ducks behind his podium as she pulls the trigger.
He falls from his stool clutching his wet neck.
She leans down and whispers, “No more. You are no more.”
She sits and stares into his eyes as the devil licks his soul.
Hollow and unhole the child now lies rotting under towels between her feet.
She cries. Not for him. But for the child now free.
“This was no life for thee. Come back again to another; not me. May God feel shame.”

© Carlson 2013

Nothing… Everything

The beginnings of snow filled the old train car with a soft thick blanket of mid night wishes. The old man, not so much in years but in trade, shuffled through a rusted and drenched sliding door while kicking over a tin can of stale meat.  Thursdays were always the hardest of the days to catch a train but that felt like eons ago.  The only trains that moved around here anymore were the ones up above carting people to and from things. Things like work, school, home, the hospital, the therapist, the food line… Or to no where in particular.  Isn’t that the preferred destination anyway? No where…. Just the journey… Begging to anything or anyone to please let time stand still for awhile.  The walking, the hustle, the trains, the madness, the pain, the tears of it all. Hurry… Hurry… scuttle butt to nothing.

Ah, but this old man liked these worn out, grizzled and decayed rail cars. The two of them had many things in common.  The cold crisp touch of the car and the loud crash of the door sent visceral gut memories crashing through his shaggy head. The memories of sharing rides with other poets, writers, artists looking to shake a dull life. That part the old man didn’t understand and would often preach to the passengers whether it be man, woman, rodent or roach; “A dull life led is a dull person at the helm.” These words still echoed through the night as if the ghosts danced and dreamed while speaking aloud to the ones that welcomed them. And these dreams and stories were also found splattered ceremoniously across the walls of these old trains. Inside and out you could find stories and fables sprayed with elaborate colors soaked into the steel never to be removed. Some were pictures others were words etched in dark.

It was cold this night. The ground crunched  underneath each hobbled foot step and sprinkles of grey and crimson colored ash melted within the dirty snow from the cigar ashes and spilt wine.  A trail for the lost and well wished memories if you like. He could still smell the gasoline, now stale, and the smoked now ached into the sides of the cars as if they were shadows of the spirits alone in the night.  The old man struggled to climb in and out of each of the cars.  The leg wasn’t being kind tonight thanks to a brief but violent encounter years before. He could still go to that place in his mind and relive it. Each day now it seemed the pain was getting worse as the ravages of age engulfed his youth.  That one night in particular, which was like most others, he found himself sneaking into a rail yard thinking everyone and thing had abandoned the night. While climbing into a rail car a sharp searing pain shot through his calf and achilles. When he turned to look, he was met with gnashed teeth snarling and black fur standing at full attention.  The old man blacked out from the pain. The guard dog on duty had severed his achilles, sliced open the bottom part of his calf and left him to awake in the hospital to receive rabies shots and 3 nights in jail for trespassing.  At least it was not a dull night and he took it all in stride.  After a few weeks the wounds healed to scars and he had bite marks tattooed over them and a “Beware of Dog” sign place proudly on the calf.  But with years of drink and improper nutrition the limp became worse.

Shuffling back and forth through this particular car he began searching feverishly. He remembered this car. This car was the only reason he wandered down this way. While out for his midnight stroll, sipping on wine and smoking his cigar, he had gazed over the bridge and saw the abandoned rail cars. He hoped he’d found the one.  And as he began wiping down some of the walls he was sure of it. Decades ago The Old Man and a few of his friends would mark the cars with tales and hellos to each other when their paths were separated. This was how they stayed in contact. But there was one favorite the old man was looking for.  Her.  It’s always a woman isn’t it? She was his favorite. They would lay out watching the stars all night telling stories and ranting about nothing and loving each other with child like passion. There was no animosity, no trying to be better then the other, no ulterior motives.  Just love.  But the night of the dog attack had separated them.  Not only was there the guard dog but the Keeper of the rail yard was still there as well.  He had shot two of their friends and she was arrested; then transported to another town where she had an existing warrant for trespassing.  From then on they would leave messages of paintings and poems for each other with the dates written on the walls of this one car. Often just missing each other by just a few days.  As the years passed and the rail cars fell way to other modes of travel due to violence and paper turned to computers the trail ran cold.  The old man now had a job as a writer for a small newspaper and also wrote for a few magazines . These gigs allowed him to have a steady apartment by the water front and a steady income for… his nothing.  Still, he missed her. Hard. With each breath and each passing night he hoped for her.  Knowing that there was a good chance she wasn’t with the living anymore brought a few more pangs to his rotted gut.

As the decades of decaying dust began to settle from the Old mans rabbled fist’s banging the walls he found the murals. The years of passengers had been kind and never painted over it. It wasn’t a picture of anything per se but a collage of colors with poems and messages to each other. They called it “Their Collage of Nothing.” Apparently others found it to be heart warming as there were notes left written off to the side asking if they had found each other and other notes like it.  It brought a sad smile to the old man as he understood the sentiment but it hurt. Hard.  The old man bent down and saw that the last entry was from 4 years before and a poem/note;

You are my nothing
My Everything.
Not Alone.
Not Wondering.
I love you.

Underneath was a phone number. The old man now shaking reaches in his coat pocket for his cell phone. His swollen fingers find the numbers and he awaits the rings fighting the agony. The hounds of hell baying in his head trying to gnash his heart. Finally a soft voice answers,


“I found you.”

“My Nothing?”

“My Everything.”

© Carlson 2013