Wife Poem #37 and Self Help Poem #45

by Carl Nelson (July 2019)

Man Trying to Embrace a Woman, Carel de Moor


Wife Poem #37


Love is Something a Married Person Must Learn to Handle


You must be very careful of what you say about love.

People will have strong feelings.

It is tricky to craft a spontaneous statement.

Love is something a married person

must learn to handle, like relations.


Love is pleasant enough when indulged in from a distance,

but the mood can change radically when you enter its space,

or place yourself between it and its meal.

There is so much talk of and demand for love!

Lots of incarcerated women have confessed to love

immediately before firing the pistol. 


If a wanton love appears at my door,

it must show another passport.

Don’t get me wrong; I like it around.

But it can attract the wrong element.

Placing some reasonableness into the whole endeavor

is why people work on their marriages.


In A Café, Gustave Caillebotte


Self Help Poem #45


A Poem is a Pause


“A Poem is a pause before doing, or having done, something.”
                                             —Terrance Gillman


You can carry things you need in it,

things you need to remember,

things you use through time, through the evolution

from an ape to an upright, sentient human.

It’s a little comeback to the impudence of reality.

The equal of an archeologist’s hole,

some vacancy of the greatest permanence,

which speaks of past civilizations.

Nothing lasts longer than history.


You can even carry a poem like a

shaker of salt with which to dust an experience;

seasoning yourself to realize the flavor better.




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Carl Nelson is relishing a smaller existence in a smaller town along the Ohio River after fifteen years in the theater world. As a playwright in pre-opening rehearsals once said, “I’d like to be a carrot in the ground.” Currently, he moseys about while working on The Poets’ Weight Loss Planan interlarding of plan and poems by which has lost 45 pounds. He also runs The Serenity Poetry Series in Vienna, West Virginia. His work is available at: https://www.magicbeanbooks.co/home.html.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast




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