Pick Your Prison

by Elizabeth Carter

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1.
Children on the top. Mom and dad are on the bottom.
2.
At the speed of gaslighting like a slowly bleeding heart you remember we’re all nothing and how can nothing fall apart?
3.
I think I’ll open up some bubbly. Trip and slip on my telephone answering my banana. A voice says, “Hello? Hello?” I say, “nobody is home”. A voice says, “You must be nobody. Tell me how does it feel to be nobody?” I say, “Nothing is real I’m having champagne for breakfast because I’m not afraid to celebrate nothing. Will you miss my morning breath?
4.
One, two, eleven divided by sixteen. Chairman of the bored people running with scissors in a lightning storm praying to god when you’re dead you will never be reborn. God is dog spelled backwards. Everyone knows prayers don’t work.
5.
02:40
Almost made it to Poughkeepsie. If you’re gonna lock me up you better throw away the key. Officer, you’re kind of acting like a p - i – g. Am I on Old Macdonald’s farm? I’ll bet your Mama’s in the kitchen. Your dad is sucking dick behind the tractor in the back of the barn where your granddaddy brought him -- your granddaddy taught him how to be a pig on a farm. Am I in old Macdonald’s farm? Thank you for these ankle bracelets you really shouldn’t have poked a bear at the end of a rope. You’re gonna wish you never had. Am I on old Macdonald’s farm?
6.
I wake up nice and early just to drive another nail into my hammer. First I’ll cut you into pieces and then I’ll feed to the fish. This is what the doctor ordered. If you could do it all over again, would you still pull me over? When you open up your open mouth garbage just pours out. That’s how you always blow your cover. You filthy pig. You racist motherfucker.
7.
This is not a love song it is a song of revenge. You are my whole world. I am your moon. You circle the sun. I circle you. I am your moon.
8.
Will the rooster’s ever wake you up again? When your lover brings you coffee in the morning will you be dreaming - forever? You wrote a poem way back in junior high school called “How to plan your very own open casket funeral”. How to dress the dead. How to crack an impossible smile. When there’s nothing left to smile about and all that’s left now are pockets full of moths. Mismatched argyle socks. Your pant legs rolled up and your fingers crossed. That Silver Jews T-shirt you rarely took off. Just the way you planned it.

about

Human remains are found in a deep hole beneath an old park bench alongside the Hudson River just outside of Poughkeepsie, NY. Scientists soon identify the bones as those belonging to a police officer, his wife, and their three sons who vanished while hiking in the Catskill Mountains twenty years earlier.

The mighty Hudson is an estuary where incoming tides from the Atlantic can be felt as far north as Troy, NY. Twenty years ago, that old park bench was likely twenty-five or thirty feet away from shore and the hole beneath it — seemingly impenetrable. But a warming Earth and increasingly erratic and severe weather patterns have taken a toll on the Hudson shoreline. Year after year that old bench and the bodies beneath it inched their way closer and closer to the river’s edge.

The news spreads fast, far, and wide. What kind of person would have the gull to bury five bodies beneath a popular park bench that seats hundreds of passersby every year? And how could law enforcement be so wildly clueless in their search for a suspect?

So, who did it? And why? The answers to these questions may only be found in the opening stanza of a sonnet.

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“Shakespeare is overrated spray painted
on the hood of a cop car -- Art thou pig?”
written on a sanitary napkin.
Never had much of a taste for bacon.

credits

releases November 21, 2020

Elizabeth Carter wrote Pick Your Prison in 2019 and played, recorded, and mixed it in the spring of 2020.

Vill Weeder mastered Pick Your Prison

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Elizabeth Carter Rochester, New York

The last time I saw my great grandmother alive, she called me a foul ball. Today I honor her vision.

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