Issue 2:1 | Poetry | Ricks Carson

3 Poems:
By Ricks Carson



At the ironing board

I  breathe deeply

the man I am


dried on the line,

sprinkled just damp,

now pass after pass,

smoothing out.

From my back, steam

lifts the sweat of oak

sawn, split, and stacked.

From my neck the smell

of sleep, dry oil

in old pillows.

From my armpits

a clean barn.


If you love me

you will lay me

out in this shirt.

Pity the man buried

bleached, starched,

and pressed,

with a drycleaner tag

stapled at the seam,

his name inked in the collar,

and Good Morning, Sir!

banded on his chest.






Take that crow

strung upside-down

from a pole in the corn.

Wings flopped out into a cross,

"this is what happens

you mess in here."

Still black, but the longer

he hangs there the whiter,

feathers float off by ones

or drop stiff in bunches

like old church fans.

Beak hard as stone,

but nothing for eyes,

the sockets blacker than him,

that used to gleam

like beads of oil

at a scrap of tin.


Dead, and for corn.

Out of all these to pull,

a few more ears

for rats in the crib.

A homemade gargoyle,

example made of sin.

St. Peter was crucified

with his heels at heaven.

Proves theres a genius

to this vertigo carcass

suspended in the middle

of rows of raw life.






God prefers slate for roofs.

The whimsy of so much rock

so high in the air!

Up there it makes the most of rain,      

freeing from its splatter and cling

a shine wherein God can see

a mosaic of himself many-fold;

and after rain the sun

warms loose the old sediment

light, eager to illuminate after eons

compressed near the nether realm.


Tile looks too manufactured

to find God's full favor,

shingle too like the scales

of a thrown-together beast.

Slate is the only roof

for roast beef and claret.

It is the best roof for clang

when swords must be swung.

Love goes better under slate,

and so does prayer.

For mooing and clucking?

As garner for the corn?


Ditto for piss-pot and skillet.


God so loved the world

he built it on slate

and made slate sheaved,

that anyone who can open it

might read the truth is hard

but tight and neatly paged.


Ricks Carson