First Class & Mnemonic Upgrades

by Carl Nelson (November 2019)

Portrait of Hans Frisch, E. L. Kirchner



First Class


I would make an excellent rich person.

My wife and I upgraded with miles

and handled the transition quite well.

It immediately made me a better person,

belted in and given free drinks.

And as that plane rose,

I wanted all boats to rise

on my bonhomie.

Hey! Why in the world

can’t we all just get along?

I even suggested.


The stewardess was friendly

and referred to me by name,

again and again.

My pleasure was important to her.

How many people actually care

if you’re having a good time?

This is what I was getting at . . .


It can make the world below

of flat green and brown squares,

wild hills, shining lakes and rocky geology,

vast spaces and spare comforts

feel rather . . . closer?

Maybe there’s your bartender,

perhaps your minister, the wife.

Your doctor, lawyer, banker

—it all depends.

This is some of what

I was getting at.

The Red Tractor, Maurice de Vlaminck, 1956



Mnemonic Upgrades / Things are Named for What They Replaced


Reincarnation is not so much off the mark

as transcending it,

as we become more and more virtual—

just a thought basically and

possibly an afterthought, finally.

That in a tradition of spiritual seniority ad nauseam . . .

we outsource the redundancy.


As how is attention to be paid?

I’m named after my grandfather,

As my father was still alive,

when we lived in the Bubbling Brook Estates.

—now the current Dribbling Culvert—

as presently, the urn replaces him.


Grandpa bought a tractor

and named it for his horse.

Politics replaced faith, and

every historical novel replaces the past.

History is a dusty attic stuffed with junk.

But you lend the granddaughter her middle name,

and it works better than embalming.

Head of a Dog, Edvard Munch, 1930



Tater Tot Poem #29



She’s the dog next door.

Before she got fixed,

they used to gambol

all over the yard.


Now she’s become matronly,

and just wants to stare at him

and describe his shortcomings.




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Carl Nelson has recently finished his book, The Poet’s (40 Pound) Weight Loss Plan, comprised of instructional prose and poetry. Using his method he is walking forty pounds lighter with normal fasting glucose levels and not snoring at night, while currently working on a second volume of Self-Help poetry, The Poet’s (29 Year) Marriage Plan. He lives in Belpre, Ohio where he considers existence while walking his ginger dachshund, Tater Tot. Read about the author and his newest book here

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast




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