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Nilson Carroll

At Chelsea’s

And now me and Zac are starting the fire out back for everyone:

I have his flashlight app

and we hear death screams from within the house

and party music, a LAN party playlist playing,

but where’s Chelsea

and where’s my beer, where’s Warhol’s tombstone, fucked,

where is my SSD that Rob gave me with all my shit saved on it, broke,

and where the fuck is Jodorowsky right now


this fucking

second? I seek something clearer, “on the verge of tears.”

Hannah (?) says Zac and I look

epic in our new riot gear, and I’ve still got

his flashlight wrapped around my fist, full of pride.

In the antechamber, a rotating filter of phantasm ooze

zumbas outside the only bathroom in the whole neighborhood,

flickering voodoo masks winking and grinning and laughing and

cursing. Touch one, and you’ll be sent back to the first area…

I drink for them now and I drink to this as well.


All my friends ask if I need a ride back east

but I decline

and recline

back into this sofa

spilling shit all over myself,

mourning something stupid and “transgressive,”

cramped underneath old yearbook photos

of Chelsea beaming on the wall.

Crystalized, kind of blue,

etc, etc.

A Profound Valor

“I’m reduced to 15-year-old fisticuffs now versus

Mom’s hoary lodger, crabstick-skinned

Steven Howard Junior, over cable charges, over

Something called ‘Eat My Hot Bavarian Log.’

He says he never watched it, calls my mom

A parody of her former self.

I swear to the RNG gods I’ll

Knock his fucking block off

For lying to my poor mother.

I mean, shit, we’re

Practically the same


Nilson Thomas Carroll studied playwriting and sculpture at SUNY Oswego where he earned a BA in English (creative writing). He is currently working toward an MFA at the Visual Studies Workshop through SUNY Brockport.

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