Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Physis’ and other poems by Carson Pytell

By: Carson Pytell


The waking hour, upon a high promontory
stretching from woods over a mirrored sky.

A breeze picks up, tousles matted hair,
traces a stiff chill from the neck down.

Fifty yards out is a rocky islet, one tree.
In a gaze and gape all necessary is said.



Easter, I was little,
couldn’t say exactly how old,
but I was playing in the swamp
just down the road.

About five, six feet in
was a glinting turtle
lounging on a stone. I rolled
my khakis up to my knees.

But, wading in, I splashed some
and ended up scaring it off.
No big deal, though.
I’d be back.

Then, on my way out of the muck,
I felt some suction at my foot
and yanked it up, leaving a
penny loafer behind.

So to this day I buy my son
only knock-arounds –
he wears them even on holidays –
and I don’t mind spending all that money.



I have things, nice things.
All the books, first editions
collected over the years.
The suitcoats and hats,
shoe polish and teeth whiteners.
I have a big car, a big house
on a big plot of land.
I have a comfortable bed and
kind nurses to look after me.
I’m even allowed a cigar and some
single malt scotch on Sundays.
And that’s just the things I can touch.
I have much indeed, but have owned such else.
And yet, besides the name I suppose,
I feel even Olive Borden died with more.



Meticulously I pluck myself apart.
As surgeon, sharpshooter, scribe,
So steady a hand would always be underpaid
And overworked.

I am fibers now, I only add up to a man.
A stiff breeze would scatter me.
But I don’t have to worry, I don’t go outside.
So I worry.

I am a sick pickpocketer,
Robbed myself damn blind of my senses.
Gentle, creaking trees; an arrhythmia.
Myself; somehow a spell.


Carson Pytell is a poet living in a very small town outside Albany, NY. His work has appeared in numerous venues online and is currently available or forthcoming in print from such publications as Vita Brevis Press, The Virginia Normal, NoD Magazine, Blue Moon Lit & Art Review, Spank the Carp, Crack the Spine, Futures Trading and Gideon Poetry Review, among others.

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