Carter Monroe: Four Poems

*An original Mule poet, Mr. Monroe has long been a cherished personal friend of the Dead Mule.

Stepping on the Cracks

because the crass distinctions
illuminate somehow in a paltry manner
you run to find the nonconformist cliché

you never realize the enigma of suggestion
or ingratiate yourself to a palatable understanding
in an uprooted sense of grandeur

it’s all just a matter of one foot after the other
with appropriate steps identified
as grief that lacks absurdity

there is manna at the end
and scones abounding
to make your day worthwhile


No Title Required

because you are a blatant hero
time doesn’t know you
feels no need to acknowledge identification
or even the slightest recognition

there is time and times and some way of measuring
where the eclipse falls without the almanac
and mylanta is a ruse for safe keeping
when covers aren’t an alternative

“days pass without moving”
my favorite line from my youth
40 years past and incongruent,
mathematically speaking

and my son asks,
“dad, what’s wrong with
joaquin phoenix’s lip?”
and I respond,
“it’s all part of his andy kaufman shtick.
don’t you remember mighty mouse?’

we can’t define time
even when it’s left us
until memory becomes a roadblock
and yesterday is a false definition

“tra la” is the shower song
meted in multiple ways
but always finding home
in the end

there is a treacherous nature
behind all things visible
otherwise we would sleep
and only have good dreams



because we take our stances beyond the plague of pain
where the interlopers come to indulge themselves
in an underdeveloped sense of anarchy

i tried to mold myself years ago
tried to figure out this thing called “suburbia”
it worked for awhile
then petered out

there was too much sequence
for lack of a better term
and an unbalanced amount of insomnia
too much icing and undone cake
made for school children
under the assumption
that they wouldn’t know the difference

and, i mean, why should they
when their parents don’t
and their grandparents didn’t
and someone somewhere
is always cashing in

i fight it for some unknown reason
wishing to ignore morality
in lieu of numbers
and two plus two

yet, it seeps in when i’m not looking
when i’m asleep to the unheard sound of a television
in the dark of night
when there’s nothing to do but hide


Another Poem About Poetry

when i reach this death road
i’ll still refuse enjambment
after all, it’s such a cliché
and one borne of conformity

if the end of the line means nothing
then a staggered word has to be
less than nothing
has to be superfluous

of course
one can write poems destined for the page
never to be read by others
or shared only with those who sought the trade

but styles come and go
as does repetition
and rudimentary profundity,
the mantra of each generation

pollock was whitman
and isadora duncan was emily
bill monroe was william carlos williams
and geico was wallace stevens

yet, credentials rule the pseudo-world
and greatly enhance the publicity
while others who seldom speak will ask,
“where’s the money?”