“Skins” by Carson Pytell

Gallery of grotesqueries

whence names are staked

as pilgrims blameless 

to manifest that destiny,

hands out hand me downs.

Accompanied, individuality affronts.

Individually: unencumbered;

loving, hating, living, killing,

not wiping the pee off the seat

until some one glimpses those drops.

Then what promulgates is proof

of one man’s barbarity, one woman’s

nosiness and gossiping, everyone

else’s tongues bitten out of decorum,

grotesqueries same or worse.

It is all a matter of disgust anyway.

We come into our flesh not our own.

Blood is red, feces is mostly brown.

Missing the bowl might as well be a sin.

Sunsets are more promising with cholera.

The eternal doorman of chance’s studio

isn’t as busy as we might think he is,

all he has to do is sit with his doorstop

watching skins subsumed by his master,

whether coming or going.


Carson Pytell is a writer living outside Albany, NY whose work has appeared in numerous venues online and in print, including Artifact Nouveau, The Virginia Normal, NoD Magazine, Rabid Oak and Bluepepper, among others. He serves on the editorial board of the journal Coastal Shelf, and his short collection, First-Year (Alien Buddha Press, 2020) and chapbook, Trail (Guerrilla Genesis Press, 2020) are now available. In December 2020 he is slated to participate in the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project.

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