Two Poems

by Carl Nelson (October 2019)

Magic Snake, Max von Moos, 1930



While Pundits Tell the Country, “No, You Don’t Look Fat in That”


In the better America pitched incessantly,

—where the balky problems of human existence

have been summarily dispatched

and their solutions culturally enshrined—

selected questions have been framed neatly

into every narrative so as to elicit airtight ‘solutions’

whose expression waits patiently in the walls of the media

like a boa constrictor lurking

to ’integrate’ the unguarded mind.


While pundits tell the country, “No, you don’t look fat in that,”

taking tact far beyond the bedroom and into policy.

The American Conversation has gone to voice mail,

which offers options for problems we haven’t,

and silence as remedies for those we have. 

Experts “find problems where there aren’t any.”*

And we all “want to talk to a human!” so badly,

we could strangle someone! 


People are screaming into the air! 

The American psyche vibrates with plaint!

While the problems I see, as problems,

which is the primary problem I don’t particularly enjoy

and shouldn’t have to be working on,

itself, as it’s not of the flesh! . . . is that

are these people Pied Pipers, or just unhinged?

And how do we get our children back?





Things Demanded of Late


Compelled speech, forbidden by the Supreme Court,

is nevertheless the soup du jour

But I am not an ant who can carry

ten times his weight, but a guy with a dog

whose needs he can meet. But,

about the current ‘woke’ employment,

‘woke’ wife, ‘woke’ child and school,

or the complicit needs of a Great (Globalized) Society,



Study authenticity. How do they do it?

It’s like a smiley face folded,

they carry in their back pocket.

As when citizens would meet others

—such as in wartime Germany 

where a quick “Heil Hitler,” was the safe play—

and it was best to be first off the bench,

which in time became like knotting your tie.




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