“Reflection in Phases,” “Agony in Order” and “Sunday Whining”

Issue 39 by Carvel Tefft

“Reflection in Phases,” “Agony in Order” and “Sunday Whining”

Reflection in Phases

How unremarkable we were

in our little unities

and stubborn alliances

How little we were

in our shadowed complaints

and broken pencils

And home was the roof

where we blew smoke up to the gods we never knew

Home was the roof

where we whispered morning out of night

and asked for more

for something

And I won’t be able to tell my kids

where the time goes

But I’ll tell them it chases the sunsets

and crippled laughs

I’ll tell them it chases the comfortable stares

and the honest poems

Home was the car

Where your spirit screamed through the tunnel

and dared to let us out the other side

Where I found paradise

underneath a puddle of blankets

and that smile

How unremarkable we were

in our flushed away fish

and shoeless sprints

How painful we were

with our hopeless money

and shallow graves

Home was by the ocean

Daring my brown eyed god

to send me to whatever hell

the tide couldn’t reach

I wish I could tell my kids

where the time goes

But I think I’ll tell them about my mistimed laughs

Or her broken silence

I think I’ll tell them about all the unremarkable things

we call Home

I’ll tell them about all the remarkable things

time will never catch

Agony in order

He told me about the bullshit

of his new film program

and all the purpose we find

in all our repurposing and second looks

I want to say the better man

will stand at the finish line

with a ribbon and four stories underneath his golden feet

but I’ve seen too many beautiful

broken down cars

There’s an order in failure

in the randomness of our lazy pens

and washed out afternoons

I never wanted to know what I could do

and you never wanted to see what I couldn’t

I don’t want to write another happy poem

Because our sewers wash away all the dirt

we carefully step over

So don’t tell me about my better days

Because I’ll tell you about our

multiple choice life

And our hand crafted kids

And hollow reactions

I’ll tell you about our invisible races

And papier-mâché smiles

I’ll tell you how tight my shirt is at Christmas dinner

I’ll tell you about customs

And cancer

And everything that died on your plate

I don’t want another example

of all our examples

I don’t want a better day

Sunday Whining

And then there was the laundry

The unspoken reminder that what is dirty

can be cleaned

I sit and pity the detergent

Running through my vomit and unfaithfulness

Why do some people make a mess and some people clean?

The whites never come out just right

but what’s bad about a couple stains?

They all fold the same way anyways

The machine whines and pouts

about its odd place as the middleman

I whine and pout

about my odd place as the middleman

Maybe I can learn something

about the terribly refreshing cycle

of good to bad and back again

But for now,

I wait for my laundry to be clean

About the Author

Carvel Tefft

Carvel Tefft writes poems about growing up and everything in between. He just began submitting his poetry online and shares his work to hopefully make someone feel. His biggest inspiration is Charles Bukowski.