Going to the Gynecologist With My Mother

Going to the Gynecologist With My Mother (and Oedipus)
by Carl Josehart

Going to the gynecologist with my mother
and Oedipus
after vanquishing my father
over a decade ago
with a random thought
(I wished him dead once)
I never entered her bed
And once being pushed out
from a womb
never sought to re-enter
but now
the gynecologist
with diagrams and sketches
invites Oedipus and me
in for a tour

in the waiting room
my mother answers pages of questions
about her medical history
Oedipus shifts uneasily in his seat
when she gets to the questions about her
sexual history
she giggles
her cheeks gently blush red
and she whispers
in our mother tongue
when the form asks about
pain with intercourse

in another room
they take out her uterus
place of our birth
homeland of our clan
doctors dance in circles around her
while products of her now diseased womb
wait patiently nearby

“source of all life”
“creator of all flesh”
a womb
from which was born a
chosen people
protect her now

Going to the gynecologist with my mother
and Oedipus
the rhythm of life
beats loudly
like the pounding of my heart
the doctor’s words
painful intercourse
about prognosis
and cure

watching blue lips
struggling to form words
labored breathing
clutching at the air
he whispers
mocking her words,
“ich vet keynmol fargessen!”
(I’ll never forget)

I Will Explode

I Will Explode
by Carl Josehart

I will explode
one day
from suits too tight
to breathe
and shirts starched
to smooth out creative
and offices too ordered
to find the truth
among files filled with facts
but no useful information
about life
too short not to be lived
each day
and opportunities
slip away
like that comfortable corner of the couch
that seems to
sap energy
and fits comfortably
no reason to rise
no call to action
the deep
struggling to be heard
through TV ads
and delinquent bills

I will explode
one day
and splatter
on a regimented world
a barrage of color
will rain on black and white

via Daily Prompt: Overworked


by Carl Josehart

I move to the beat of an ancient melody
My destiny choreographed by the birthright of my ancestry

I listen to the lyrics that have been sung through the centuries
By voices, old and young, as they are handed down through our families

I see in a child’s face a mirror of his parents’ childhood
And all at once their past – and his future – is all understood

I hold in my arms a new life full of the promise of tomorrow
And tremble to think she too will grow to know sorrow

I dream in my heart of a life unburdened by the past
Free to seek its own direction and to be at peace at last

The Clown

The Clown
by Carl Josehart

Looking out from behind a grease-paint smile
Are eyes too world weary to weep and too cynical to grin
So joyfully he plays at living his life
Always pleasing the crowd – always feeling the price

Hidden behind a façade of laughter
Are ears turned deaf for want of being whispered to
So playfully he talks to each and everyone
Telling jokes – bringing laughter to those he meets

Buried beneath his silly padded clothes
Is skin grown tough – screening all the feeling out
So whimsically he tumbles as falls
Hurting less when he feels nothing at all

Locked away inside a red button nose
Are nostrils still longing for the scent of sweet perfume
While he mimics inhaling the aroma of a paper bouquet
Produced as if by magic – then given away

Lying dormant within his mouth
Is a tongue fast asleep from the banality of his daily fare
His world is cotton candy and caramel corn – all sickly sweet
Never having tasted the richness of life’s flavors, he is not nourished when he eats

Bright Colors

via Daily Prompt: Yellow

Bright Colors
by Carl Josehart

bright colors
almost always are reserved
for the aged
or the insane
to help cheer their countenance

I suspect
it is more like those
orange flags that signal
near construction sites
or on wide loads of
precariously balanced
on open air flat bed trucks
barreling down the highway
advising caution
keeping a safe distance
warning not to follow

her broad rimmed
straw hat
drawstring under chin
brightly colored hummingbird
caught in flight
pinned to the straw dome
atop her head
seemed to make her look
all the more strange as did
her long gray braid
falling behind her head
down her back

eerily silent
she sat beside me
at times too quiet
at times
agitated motion
with no discernible aim or

for a can of coke
a closed can of apple juice
not opened
two bags of peanuts
yet refused lunch

would not bring her chair
to the upright position
not seeming to understand
even when the stewardess
pushed the back of the chair
pointing urgently
at the button on the armrest

the stewardess
gave up
this life
seemingly not worth saving
should the landing go awry

bright colors
almost always are reserved
for the aged or the

Everything Has Its Place

Everything Has Its Place
by Carl Josehart

Straightening up the apartment
my mother’s words
echo in my head,
“Everything has its place,”
she’d say
and she was right
but not the way I thought back then

straightening up the apartment
I realized
the state of my apartment
mimics the state of my inner world
messy psyche
dirty pots
lack of integration
leads to lack of organization

straightening up the apartment
my mother’s words echo in my head
“Everything has its place,”
she’d say
and she was right
and I struggle to find a place for everything

too many sweaters
and I wonder what it was I
desperately was trying to cover
and I wonder about
a cold that couldn’t be warmed

so many old bills and bank statements
and I wonder about ledgers
and debts in my life
and I wonder what it was I was
urgently trying to repay
so many old debts
and I wonder about
the obligations which can’t be paid

piles of dirty dishes and dirty laundry
and I wonder about what it was I
couldn’t wash
piles of dirty dishes and stained clothes
and I wonder about
the rotting of bodies that cannot be healed
and stains that blot my soul

straightening up the apartment
my mother’s words
echo in my head
and I wonder
if I’ll find places for everything
layers of discarded sweaters
a place for warmth
boxes of cancelled checks
a place for forgiveness of old debts
shelves for old dishes and stained clothes
a place for honoring hurts that cannot be healed
and me
a place to feel, “Everything has its place”
a place to feel
at home