Poets Unlimited
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Poets Unlimited

the exclusive club where i am not a member

— J.A. Carter-Winward

(text version below)

the exclusive club where i am not a member


his lines are gorgeous
her imagery is fresh out of heart but steaming with brittle hellos.
they can’t reach you. they don’t want to.
their handbook does not allow for plain-talk and swapping fluids.

sanitized beauty

cold like grace kelly

and just as dead.


i want my creation on the autopsy table but they don’t want to see what makes it tick.
tick tock.

my meter is off

behind camouflage they made for word-children like mine who are
not seen, not heard
they are felt, and no one wants the neighborhood to be a slum
when only the gentry waddle out for the paper in their bathrobes.


my name stops at the last letter. no b, no m, no f, no aahh, listen to the crickets when the nightly host

stares at the blank page where my curriculum vitae is supposed to have letters not a
he laughs without opening his lips
he says nothing, nada, no, no,

to the throng
releasing the audience from having to
take me seriously

or take me at all

i forgot my uniform
and then i’m busted

for impersonating
a sanctioned voice.


i want to make this poem a sanitized version for your consumption.
it’s not too greasy, i hope.
i got it from the right shop. i brought in a magazine clipping to show the clerk.
i also know you don’t like it covered in afterbirth or semen or blood or spittle.
i know i can do it; i can tell you a horror story void of horror
and you can then be afraid
without too much


i wonder if i’m real.
i have a fake i.d. but i don’t fool anyone.
they see right through me.
if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck

i was born a duck, but i walk and talk like something else.
am i still a duck?
blink once for yes and twice for no.
turn up the morphine, i think she’s feeling the burn.


i’ll make you a deal. i won’t sleep with your old boyfriends
if you won’t sleep with mine.


i’m the bastard child of poetry. i never met my father. my mother made me raise myself.
i’m a scrapper. i fight for what’s mine.
i hope i’m not too hard to look at. i’m sorry if you’re bothered by blood.
i know my place, now. it’s outside your venerable halls
while i sit begging to be allowed to audit the course. no it won’t give me a proper name or title or creds


it might give me an idea
of who i’m talking to.
i scream behind the plate glass. i snuff my cigarette out on my arm.
i look and all i see are the backs of heads.


you’re talking without moving your jaw. i’m a bloody mess.
you are a small faction and you blocked the gate. i’m a street preacher on a soapbox.
you call to have me hauled away.

but i’ll be back.

i’ll be back tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow —
ah, invoking shakespeare makes your eyes



i’ve scrubbed my poem properly but it still has its cock and balls
it still has its ever-slippery cunt behind its starched linen tablecloth
it has an asshole.
it breathes, it beats, it pulses, it breaks and heals, it fucks


but it will never die your death.
quivering bloody words are born to be swallowed with a dark ale and a crusty loaf.
smell the bread baking. feel it warm your belly.

i’ll go my way

and you go yours

and you can live in your pristine four-walled-sanctioned-hall and sit up straight, titter politely and sneeze with a hanky

i’ll go down to the slums by the tracks and stand in the filthy puddles
i’ll declare them holy and the masses, the rank and file
they will be my lovers
while the privileged few of you breed with each other, and breed and breed
until the children of your couplets all resemble

the royal line.


so pretty, you talking heads. so pretty, you talking. so pretty, you. so pretty. so.

my outer layer is burning away to leave me exposed
but you,
you’re growing silent from internal decay.

you will be but a shell.
me — i am raw meat.

and the crowd
it always, always




— J.A. Carter-Winward




Six Years of poetry-only content, mostly published daily, but no longer operating. PoetsUnlimited was diverse, engaging and authentic poetry magazine. It was diverse and original, and always free-to-read by all. The poetry remains available for reader access.

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J.A. Carter-Winward

J.A. Carter-Winward

J.A. Carter-Winward, an award-winning poet & novelist. Author site, https://www.jacarterwinward.com/ , blog: https://writeinblood.com/ Facebook and Youtube

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