“There Are Strange Things Happening Every Day,” “Ultimatum” & “Mark Zuckerberg Told Me to Suck It” by Gold Carson

Person wearing a blue sweater and skirt, pink mini backpack, and purple hair in a ponytail stares at an infinite row of claw machines filled with various toys, bears and bunny rabbits and one pink raccoon held in the claw

There Are Strange Things Happening Every Day

i'm treading lightly on tile floor, washing my public
hands with soap and water, doing what i was born to do.
a girl with no name but a ponytail and skinny
lips screams at my body. i take root in the grout.
i'm etching the icing onto my cake with painstaking
accuracy, getting older than old, lotioning my skin
and my bones. i get the feeling that it’s the first 
of may. it stays cold in spring and i'm letting it.

with all you animals punching me in my gut, my heart
is fluttering as it usually does. i have no interest in flinching. 
after all, i'm the real thing, i built this big special world 
to live in. there are strange things happening every day.


I am always ready to pop
my tear ducts clean open.
Therefore, businessmen in
the digital detour think
I am the perfect target
for PTSD ads selling experimental PTSD
treatment plans. I get stepped on
periodically, got humiliated three times
in one year, even after the vaccine
and vitamin D and peppermint tea.
Running low on depression
medication? Little interest
in refilling? Can't figure out
why you're acting essentially dead?
The screen's sans serif text
offers an engineered sense
of possibility. I don't know.
I just feel bad like I always do.
By now I have accumulated
several things to cry about.
An older minute traps me and then
a newer one. My habits explain
themselves in dreams I don't

Mark Zuckerberg Told Me to Suck It

i can only focus on jokes and listicles / when i try to read a book it’s already over / i
would need a mouth in order to read out loud / there's something wrong with me / and
the other day the doctor told me we don’t live in a hunter-gatherer society / and that i
should exercise / are there other ways to do structure? / at this point if it’s not funny i
don’t have time / i keep worrying about the mass of future tweet citations in social
movement science literature / i ghosted the nonprofit / send 501c3 my regards! / i lie
and tell her i live an active lifestyle / i eat from machines that work / like the ones outside
pizza places / dispensing candy and shit toys / for a quarter except somehow / no
quarters and someone somewhere / gets paid one billion bitcoin / for every time i turn
the dial / it turns so quick i don't notice / i receive the meme / the blessing that works /
like a lollipop / there can be so much fun / i sit still and suck on it / instead of my thumb

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Gold Carson is a writer, artist, and musician who first came up in the New Jersey DIY scene, but mostly writes poems now. They study English and art at Williams College in Western Massachusetts, where they are a member of hotbed collective and a Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellow. Gold is a Leo of queer experience & Afro-Dominican descent. They are writing a chapbook called LIVE ACTION CAPITALISM. You can find their work at hotbed.space/gold-carson and their tweets on Twitter @g0ldnews.

Eileen Echikson is a self-taught artist based in Philadelphia, and current member of Space 1026. Lately she has been working in small illustrations and animations, and will occasionally plop a Big Idear onto a mural. Eileen has created work for Vans Shoes, World Cafe Live, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Her works aim to capture the spirited playfulness of childhood, where bugs and comics rule the world, and time is of no consequence. You can peep some of Eileen’s latest works at www.eileenechikson.com, and follow her on IG @soupywoman.