Thursday, February 28, 2019

Otto Dix, Self-Portrait, 1913 (via
Sunflowers at Late Dusk, Charles Burchfield, 1916 (via
Sunrise in the Forest, Charles Burchfield, 1917 (via

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Hi. Many years ago, I read Scott Heim's poem "The Collector". This is a wondrous and disturbing and beautiful poem. The poem appears in the chapbook Saved from Drowning by Scott Heim, published by Chiron Review Press in 1993. I loved the poem when I first read it in 1993, and I love the poem now. I've thought about this poem many times over the years. The imagery is vivid, and the topics addressed could be considered to be "taboo". In short, exactly the kind of poetry I love best! I am glad to be able to share this poem with you here. I suspect you'll find it just as memorable and disturbing as I do. Best wishes, Carl Miller Daniels

The Collector

Tonight, I feel life's downward spiral
reversing.  I've waited years
for something like this.  No doubt they were smiling
when they died, returning from another win,
the ice cream truck speeding from the bridge's curve
to smash the side of the bus. Three
stars of the football team, gone.
Monday will fill the halls with pool-eyed girls,
teachers thumbing yearbooks, a stupid throng
sniffling beside lockers bedecked
with Polaroids and jersey numbers.
But all that's hours away.
Tonight is mine.

After three, I leave my room.
I abandon these comic books and stamps;
these butterflies and beetles soaked with alcohol.
I walk the darkest avenues of this worthless town.
Hymns from crickets: they know what's happened.
It's the only sound as I head for the funeral home,
gripping the brick wrapped in the towel
I used to wipe my stomach after I worked off
my dreams of them.  When I'm there
I throw it through the window; crawl inside.
Slowly, my eyes adjust
and their beautiful shapes solidify.  They're spread
on tables lined with velvet
so smooth, touching it would feel like
touching a beating heart.  They've been stitched
like the opponent's bullpup mascot, that dummy
they beat and burned at yesterday's pep rally.
The street light draws haloes
against faces that would have graduated this May.
Now, they're precise and still
as butterflies I pin behind glass in my room.
They're only a little dead.

I ask who's first, remembering strides
between yesterday's classes, jeans tight
against their asses like peelings on ripe globes of fruit.
Their skins still smell like the field's chalked grass;
like soap flakes from the after-game shower.
One at a time, I slide against them.
Rick's shoulders swell beneath his thin
cotton shirt, muscles solid as unripe apples.
Last week, I spied through binoculars,
his head tilting toward the car window as his girlfriend
left marks on his neck.  Even in tonight's dark
the violet hints still show.  I move my mouth
from bruise to bruise, whispering
love, love on the skin.  When finished
I switch tables.  This linebacker's body
that made Dave famous: here,
in the palms of my hands.  Between his legs
he is soft and round, like the finger he jammed
in the hollow of my throat to shut off my yell
when he hammered me in the stomach last March.
I push myself into him,
easy as the pin into insect, holding him close
until I'm through.  Only the quarterback
remains.  I delicately trace the curve of Kevin's cheek
with my tongue.  I hover over
his mouth like a moth against light.
My tongue catches on the blue stitches
that join his lips.  I let this moment
linger, the room falling away around us, then step back
to look at them.  This is the final memory
I will collect, the final kisses
that will unite us forever, their bodies filled
with the knowledge of my love.

--Scott Heim (This poem appears in the chapbook Saved from Drowning by Scott Heim, published by Chiron Review Press in 1993. The poem is posted here with the author's permission.)


when my ship set sail into the wilderness
of mysterious fishes and odd critters of the saline nation,
hardly anyone would talk to me.
i was too eager. too ready to show off my
keen biological knowledge and insightful
ways of observing fascinating zoological marine phenomena.
the other summer interns, were
much more relaxed about their job.
it was, for them, just a summer job,
not the best, not the worst,
and kind of an opportunity for
them to hang out with each
other and enjoy after-hours beer
and cards and talk.  i didn't
even drink back then. thought
it would be bad for me. also, i
was just kind of a naive goody-two-shoes.
i was just 19, an eager-beaver college sophomore,
deliriously happy with having a real
job in my chosen field: biology.
wow. and MARINE biology at
that. specialization!
wow! i thought this was all pretty dern great.
out on the water on a marine biology
research ship, watching
the giant net slide under the
surface of the water,
knowing it was gliding and banging along
the bottom, and watching
its contents get dumped onto
the sorting table: hundreds
of fish, sometimes thousands,
all different shapes, sizes,
and colors. and pretty soon
i knew the names of all of them,
common name, scientific name,
family, and genus, and species.
oddly enough, my growing knowledge
and quick mastery of fish identification skills
did not endear me to the other
summer interns. in their eyes,
i was even more "geeky," more
of a "hotdog," a downright
ah well, i was having fun
and later, when i did get
a bit more relaxed, and
was having an actual
laid-back conversation with
the chief scientist on the
ship, a tall skinny 30ish
guy with a sexy demeanor and
sweet sad eyes,
just him and me talking,
mostly about science stuff,
measuring this, identifying
that. there was
nobody else around.
he drank beer after beer.
we talked some more, and, then,
all of a sudden,
he told me something that surprised
me, something that i've always
remembered. this is what he said.
he said, "there are really only two
things i like about being alive,"
he said, as he sucked on a
can of beer.
"just two things i like:
being drunk. and
being asleep. when i'm not
drunk, i want to be
asleep. when i'm not
asleep, i want to be
those are really the only
two things i can stand
about being alive."
there was a moment
of awkward silence.
it was
late, nearly midnight,
the surface of the
sea slick
and cold

--Carl Miller Daniels (This poem also appears in my book Saline, published by Interior Noise Press in 2014.)

All of these guys -- maybe they're all reading poems by me, Carl Miller Daniels. Maybe. Could be. Ya just never know...fer sure...

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

how platonic

the resulting correspondence spurred him into action.
oh there was no doubt about it: he was in love
with his new pen-pal. and he was sure his new
pen-pal was just as hot and as sexy a young man
as he himself was. he could picture himself
and his pen-pal together, lying naked
in the woods, side by side, while
in fact he lay all alone by himself
naked on a towel on his belly in a secluded
spot in the woods and wrote page
after page after page after page
to his new pen-pal.  this was the
real thing, though, this time.
the real thing. oh sure his pen-pal
was a small-press editor, who lived thousands
of miles away, and who had accepted
and published several of his poems,
but, well, it went
W-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-Y-Y-Y beyond
a mere poet-editor relationship. he knew it.
his pen-pal wrote him even when there
were matters totally unrelated to
his poems and to the magazine.
his pen-pal wrote him about
life and milkshakes and chocolate
cookies and the joy of a simple
walk on the beach with the
wind blowing his tousled blond hair
to and fro.
oh yes, he was passionately in love
with his new pen-pal, and often
as he lay there naked on his belly writing
letters to his pen-pal, he would
get an insatiable and tremendous hardon, and
he just lay there, though, on top of it,
feeling the sensation of it against
his taut flat belly, as he wrote
to his pen-pal about matters totally
unrelated to sex. he was fairly
sure his new pen-pal was straight.
which could be a problem. since he
himself was gay and in fact totally
in love with his new pen-pal. but
surely this could all be worked out.
everything didn't have to be about
sex, did it? some things were just
about love. and so he lay there
on his belly his back sweaty
his pink little nipples dripping
sweat his hardon raging, and
he wrote to his pen-pal about
the movie he'd just seen,
the book he was in the middle
of reading, and then,
he kinda broke into tears,
and quickly moved the pages
away, because it was
unseemly to have tear-stains on
letters, no matter what
others may do--that was
just not him. no way.
he was much too smooth
and sophisticated for
something like that.
instead, after he finished
his cry, he added the sentence:
"I'm still in the middle
of the woods and feel a poem
coming on--I'll send it to ya
if I like the way it turns out."
then he wrote "Sincerely yours,"
and put the letter into an
envelope and sealed it up
and he lay there naked
sweaty on his belly
on top of his hardon
and even though it
seemed kind of crass
to bring sex into all
of this, he rubbed
himself against the
soft surface of the
towel until he spurted
cum and, in fact, he
spurted so much cum
that he nearly soaked his
towel, and then he stood
up, looked down, disgusted,
disgruntled, and just thoroughly

--Carl Miller Daniels (This poem first appeared in Chiron Review, Issue #90, Spring 2010. It also appears in my book String Bean.)
okay. look.

The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893 (via
The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893 (via
The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1895 (via
The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1895 (via
The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1910 (via

Monday, February 25, 2019

all this, and twilight crackers with cheese, too

the sexy naked big-dicked teenage boy is
standing in front of the fireplace. his parents
are gone, and
the fire is blazing.
he is enjoying the
heat, especially as it radiates
onto his big hard dick.
the sexy naked big-dicked teenage boy
grins, and
does this wild little impromptu
dance, imagines himself a pagan savage,
dancing around an open fire,
his big dick flopping all around
like it's having the
time of its life.

--Carl Miller Daniels (This poem first appeared in Chiron Review, Issue #105, Fall 2016.)

Wouldn't it be cool if all these guys were reading my poetry? (Ah well, we all need our dreams now don't we?)

Sunday, February 24, 2019

dinner time yet

in this phase of your life, you are a
beautiful sexy naked smoldering big-dicked big-eyed boy.
today, you
throw yourself down on your bed and weep.
you are sad, you are disillusioned. you are sick
with nebulous and generalized grief.
you are a
beautiful sexy naked smoldering big-dicked big-eyed boy
and yet,
yet, you are all of this unhappiness.
you are miserable.
your beauty is not enough.
it hasn't helped you in any way that has
brought you meaning, peace, understanding,
you want to die.
you lie on your bed weeping.
you, at this phase of your life,
a beautiful sexy naked smoldering big-dicked big-eyed boy,
unhappy and sick at heart.
years later,
you are a little old man.
you think back to how beautiful you were.
you have the photographs to prove it.
a little old man now,
you are constantly sad,
and wonder what it all meant,
life, your former beauty,
your ignorance of how everything
worked, or could be made to work,
how everything just kind of slipped
by, and left you here, now,
a little old man,
achy, finicky,
you are now flecks of debris
adrift in the winter wind.
it is snowing.
the sky is quite gray.
pottery lasts for thousands
of years.
i like the vases that have
drawings of sexy naked greek young
men running races together,
their dicks
flopping saucily, up, and down.

--Carl Miller Daniels (This poem also appeared in Chiron Review, Issue #101, Fall 2015.)
kiss kiss kiss

Liam -- blonde