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Poetry

Carson Pytell

Carson Pytell is a writer living outside Albany, NY whose work has appeared widely in such venues as Sheila-Na-Gig, The Adirondack Review, Ethel Zine, Rabid Oak, Backchannels and White Wall Review. He served as Assistant Editor of the journal Coastal Shelf and participated in the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project in December 2020. His first four chapbooks, First-Year (Alien Buddha Press, 2020), Trail (Guerrilla Genesis Press, 2020), The Gold That Stays (Cyberwit, 2021), and Sketching (Impspired, 2021), are now available. https://amazon.com/author/ carsonpytell

Prometheus Unbound and Unemployed

One of my kids –
not my child,
that’s just how teachers talk –
used to write for every answer
on every test, quiz, anything:

Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo

Of course when I first saw that
I had to look it up for myself.
Something about not being
ashamed of his answer.

I left a ‘SEE ME’ note
on that first test.

He told me it meant that
he knows he’s no good
at math, but he’s got
other interests, skills.

I told him that’s something
most adults never discover
and that I’d see to it he got
a passing grade to graduate.

Then came final exams,
when I wouldn’t be grading.

Well, the jig was up.
He failed, I was fired.

But it’s not all bad,
I have company now.

Apparently, the kid also worked out
long equations for English assignments,
and always told his history teacher that
the only thing history ever taught him
was to focus on the future.

So when we, the jackasses who let him school us,
get together Wednesday nights to get drunk,
we like to think about what he’s up to now.

Obviously they wouldn’t let him graduate,
so he’s probably just as bad off as us.
Unless, that is, he told the Regents Board
just how many kids graduate, go to college,
find jobs, families, lives, but never their purpose.