The Daily Art Source

Carter Monroe

 ​See Poets and Writers page for Biography


A Member of the Wedding (with apologies to Carson McCullers.) 
 
The bridesmaids were dressed
in a light blue shade of sarcasm
that reflected the scruffiness of the buffet
and the lighting of the venue.
 
God came in
purportedly to inspect the food preparation
and to make sure there was
a proper amount of cynical endurance.
 
They served tuna,
which was a loss leader at the time
at the local chain grocery
that only sold USDA Select.
 
Truth was they wanted him there
for security. 
Just a presence to make sure
that reality couldn’t sneak in. 
 
Carter Monroe ©




Let Me In
 
rockabilly portrait of a haitian worker
fell out of the sky with a mumble
and a charter awaiting approval
as if the guys at the poultry plant cared
 
they brought jerry lee on
as a consultant
tied his hands, so
he played with his feet
 
you can sing here
but don’t go to church
don’t open any restaurants
and don’t shit
 
stand to the side, so
some artist wearing a coat and tie
can use words like “discern”
to describe your predicament
 
you’re in america now
with civil rights on paper
and a job that lets you live
with ten of your very best friends
 
and the right to do what
everybody else here does
that is
to make up your own reality
 
Carter Monroe ©




rich man poor man
 
there’s a rolex watch and two dozen harpsichords
waiting in a shipping container
for a scourged out catastrophe
wearing a bowtie and a tam
 
caligula had a birthday
in whatever level of purgatory
he happened to land in
when the fall came
 
i’m a typist and my mother
was a schoolteacher with small breasts
and a provincial attitude
with an escariot tone
 
an emergency came up
we had to use it for that
hence I made my own fortune
and squandered it on politics
 
in the end
they laid out kitty litter
pretended it was at random
but i knew a normal distribution
 
and what 67% really meant
 
Carter Monroe ©




Lunch with Frank O’Hara.
 
There was a magnificence that protruded between time and light.
We thought radical was in a healing mode.
Watered down beyond chaos
and scoping toward nonchalance. 
 
We forgot the truth.
Assumed that virtue would take hold
at some point
and relegate us to rationality.
 
You didn’t have to look too closely
to find the subjectivity
that blinded the rememberers
who could no longer quote the date.
 
Sycophants and starving elephants.
A ride to the park
past the Bronx Zoo.
Things we never saw at the time.
 
There was a hamburger stand
whose emblem was a coach-whip snake.
Standard faire was mustard and chili.
That was enough. 
 
Carter Monroe ©




A Follow Up to Jack Spicer
 
There were the calisthenics that bogused us into charm
where the night was swept into some foreign made trash bag.
But, necessity forged a simplistic algorithm to make it all right.
That is, if you’re looking for Texas in the dark.
 
A Rubicon is slighted in the wake of stride.
Appealing to a darker side of yesterday’s séance
and wondering if Mama wants to talk
or if Daddy’s still pissed.
 
“Umbrage” is frequently misspelled.
Never used except in a poem
or an inconsequential conversation.
I appeal to your more primitive side.
 
“Segue” is a better word.
One wrought with agility and misunderstanding,
but on occasion it sounds appropriate.
Sounds impressive like “epiphany.” 
 
I’m tired of The Dollar Store
and the inefficiency implied by same.
Yet, I seek the vocabulary and the practicality
that precludes interpretation and sterile theory. 
 
Carter Monroe ©