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EDITOR'S CHOICE: lytton bell's

Curtis Whitecarroll


By Curtis Whitecarroll

Photograph by Baxter Jackson
Photograph by Baxter Jackson


By Curtis Whitecarroll

every eye
at my shadow

see nothing
I have become
less than

I been looking for
a way out to make vision die
say a prayer
may as well no one is whispering
you will be talking to yourself
now officially crazy

dream the dead coming back
no zombie apocalypse
just an odd looking family reunion
I don't mind all the rot
I have plenty myself
all hidden on the inside

where did you put all your dignity
the question that is often asked me
without it being asked
you think you so much

you think I am so new
I have suffered and blocked away
more than you could ever
hope to to gather and scar yourself with

be dead with me
and then get over it
my dance to dust with falling skin-rain
I follow the the burnt out star dust of
my overdosed first fiance eyes staring
back at me in the black sky of my mind
I pray you will some day understand this
and almost understand it
talking to myself again

burn the world with the sage brush that you remember
as part of your youth first, it always burnt well
not as well as the skin under mom and dads cigarettes but well enough
the heat is coming I keep hate fire under my tongue
clear my throat there is some kind
of inferno here

where has my love gone?
falling into the snake pit of an easy regret
stars are easy to write about
makes it perfect for metaphor for such
complex and ugly things
I can talk about how I think of giving up
as if I held the responsibility to keep the sun burning
as if I must toss kindling to it myself and the exhaustion
comes so hard I decide the human race is not
worth the effort it takes to keep them warm

oh embers of a sun neglected I was neglected too,
on the best of days, take me with you into the cold non being
the shedding of the warmth that helps people identify you
I have been losing warmth since I was a child, and I am no star

open eyes as swamped with details as vision can be
I will give you the crying I dont let others see the oceans I some how manage to swallow
my hungry eyes cannibalize themselves and their saltwater children
I didn't let the kind beings of the world take me in
because I felt didnt deserve the curse of me, but so many times
I was tempted, but everyone I have loved has been caught in the misery storm afterward
swallow a handful of death after you met me, when never you had a lost a friend before me
the pain from your condition flows like a forest fire
or the old ghosts will sink their hands closer, in parts of yourself
they had been before
depending on which of you that you are,
and I am sorry for all of them, to all of you

they talk of life, that everyone has clouds
I have my dust belt moments
black day storms like a song set on repeat, a rain dance
for the downpour that no one wants
I want to hold you, I ache for that I am starving for that
but the best I can tell you is get away
wherever I am, a flood is coming,
get to the high ground

Photograph by Katy Brown
Photograph by Katy Brown


By Curtis Whitecarroll

your hand full of time-seeds
I found myself in a foggy field
no crops yet, I am forced to eat my words
I am fat and grow roots, heaving
the wing-beats of locusts

Curtis Whitecarroll

Curtis Whitecarroll is a poet living in Portland, Oregon. He has been published internationally more than 200 times, but his favorite accomplishment is founding Ink Noise review, a live poetry series focused on integrating young poets into the wider poetic community.

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