unhingedin some haphazard fashion like the
smile hanging from herdis[illusion]ed lips the night
she walked away - that nightI said "p[each]es" when I
should have said "apple"
from a dead
treein some concrete grove filtering the lives of
and fetid men;
men like [badge]rs chucking and fucking and
pret[end]ing to love herdis[illusion]ed lips holding
up the haphazardly hinged smile like
some rotten fruit oft [romantic]ized by
at l a n g u i d pacesin some coffee shop on the edge of town:
and on my own tongue I stilltaste
Organized hate is no more divine.
A church of peace can not crusade.
The politic of religion is oxymoronic.
A god that divides will never reign.
These are undeniable truths denied
every day by crassindividuals speaking for masses
that have voice,that have mind,
that have faith,
though you’d never know it throughthe thick and bloody fog of
I am not the onethat bombed your hospital
with the red cross as target,
I am not the onethat reduced your house of
blocks square to rubble ragged,
I am not the onethat stole your husbands and sons from
your homes in the lie of night.
I am not responsible for these things, yetI am represented by those who
(this is where you pause to think)
Fair is a four letter word(like race),
that means nothing yet is fought over byhordes.
One man hates anotherfor his love of a third yet claims
an all-loving god.
One child strikes anotherfor his shoes made by a third
an ocean away.
Whosoever protects the weak -
shall be treated as weak.
Whosoever defends the different -shall be treated as different.
Whosoever cries out against ruthlessness -shall be treated ruthlessly.
So sayeth the Shepherd -so sayeth the sheep!
These are undeniable truths upheld
every day by sanctified individuals
speaking at masses
with voice,with mind,
such that you’ll never know the truth throughthe thick and ruddy fog of
These passageways weremeant for boys
to become men,
not the reverse,not the perverse,
not the verse:
of words changed by the ru
party countless timesover thousands of years.
Would that god(!) should leave a mark,a footstep not filled by those
by the weight of his churchfor believing
in some other god,but the same god,
yet a different god –
not my god.
A building and two sticks don’t makeone pious,
a prayer and two songs won’t grantone salvation,
a tear and two hands won’t bringone forgiveness.
But a gun and two bullets…(one for you
one for me),
what a wonderful world it would be.
J.R. Carson has multiple prose pieces in publications such as Anathematic, Skive Magazine, and Defenestration. An award-winning playwright, his poetry placed at the 2006 Sandhills Writers Conference and garnered him an invitation to Bread Loaf in 2007. In most of his work, he tries to tell at least three different stories from at least five different points of view, or whatever the cosmos may give him.