Sunday, September 13, 2009

Feature: Carlton Smith Day 1

Joining our *Mnemosyne* family this week is another extremely talented editor and poet, Carlton Smith. You may know him as the executive editor of Troubadour21 or maybe you know him from his personal poetry website; you may be discovering his work here for the first time ever. Whichever way you have come to know Carlton we are very happy to present his offerings to you this week.

Welcome to *Mnemosyne*, Carlton!

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I once lived among them
Blinking bleary at the gaping open door as the
Light rushed in and reminded us it was

What nerve they had to remind us
Outside children played and
Hope found happy homes

Here there was
Half melted ice swirling scotch whiskey
You had to drink it before it got too
Watered down

That was the only way

Cigarette burning next to the pint of frothy ale
Forgotten half-conversation

My neighbor lolled his head to look
Having heard a phantom name
From a forgotten past in which he

He muttered to no one at least I
Hoped it was no one as I didn’t want to

Another please
I told the bar-maid
Always ready with a smile
Concealing contempt (I suspected)

By the third one it went down easier
And I hardly noticed the sun

© Carlton Smith

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Executive Editor of Troubadour 21 ( - Carlton is a poet, writer, dreamer and professional techno-geek residing in Southeast Michigan. His obsession is learning and growing and his favorite color is Crayola® cornflower blue. Visit his personal poetry website at

*Note: For our readers in Michigan, Carlton will be the featured poet for Poetic Travelers this week on Friday, September 18th at 6:30 PM at the Lawrence Street Gallery in Ferndale Michigan. Make sure to stop in and see him if you are in the area!


  1. A vivid mini-portrait of the once-removed. Nicely written. And it's uncanny how well the characters are conveyed, especially the protagonist: muted, sardonic, intensely perceptive...kinda guy ya might wanna have a drink with. :)

    And as the poem offers a window on a particular illusion -- that of the drinker's reality -- we're made uncomfortable with extrapolation. Where do illusions end and the really real kick in? Maybe it's illusions all the way down.

  2. Tim,

    I must say that I am deeply touched by your comments on this piece. Sometimes it is difficult for me to know whether or not I have been able to convey what I intended with a poem, but your comment tells me that I have. It seems you took away from the poem exactly what I hoped a reader would.

    Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts.

  3. I am on the other bar stool watching this scene carl, your ability paint a picture with these words...incredible