By Jackie Carroll
This poem won first place in the Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize contest in Davis, CA.
And, oh. Oh. Oh! The Poetic Rantings of Lunatics Written down by toothless vagrants (the dirty poets) On the backs of cardboard boxes With black permanent marker Written down by small children and their teachers On grocery store paper bag parchment With crayons of red and yellow Written down by Norteños and Sureños On train cars and truck trailers With multi colored cans of spray paint Written down by atheist, anarchist artists On sidewalks and alley walls, With hopscotch chalk of pastel green and blue Written down by disinterested hipsters On the op-ed pages of cutting-edge magazines With HP inkjet printer Written down by pasty-skinned speed freaks On every blog and Facebook page in the entirety of the universe With the ones and zeros of DOS and Java box And, oh. Oh. Oh! The fashionings of the poetic literati. (Of which I am a member in good standing) Oh the desperate attempt to reach out Into a blue-blooded, cold-assed universe In hopes of connecting with another lonely lunatic poet A fellow warm blooded living breathing scribbling soul. The lunacy of the endeavor is obvious, right? Right?!!! Yet the lunatic scribbles on in silence, and seeming stillness But lunacy, you see, is not a singular affliction Not a trial or tribulation spent in isolation And it most certainly is not a symbolization of solitude Yet the scribe scribbles down the poem they believe no one will ever read Scribbling down a poem only a lunatic could understand A poem conceived in a world chock-full of lunatic poets Billions and billions of lunatic poets totally oblivious of one another All of them trying to connect Through the poetic rantings of lunatics
Jackie Carroll is a poet, playwright, screenwriter, songwriter, stage actor, singer, and truck driver. He studied playwriting with Edward Albee and has had multiple plays produced. His screenplay, One Shot Thirty, was optioned for production. His first book of poetry, Kubaba, was published in Spring of 2019 by a+bend press, and he won first place in the Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize contest in Davis, CA. His next two books of poems, Lucky Pen and 1100 Feet per Second, are both due out in 2021 from a+bend press, as is a chapbook, Cancer.