best poetry podcast
Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems

Hi! This year (2023), I’m continuing my quest to share a poem on my blog and podcast and read it aloud. It’s all a part of my quest to be brave and apparently the things that I’m scared about still include:

  1. My spoken voice
  2. My raw poems.

Thanks for being here with me and cheering me on, and I hope that you can become braver this year, too!

For Anne & Maxine

Why is it that the dead

Never listen to my pillow talk?

I am tired, but can’t sleep

Again and again and again.

You snore next to me

And occasionally twitch

As the dog snuggles in between us,

Released from her crate

Because she cries so much.

Again and again and again,

Why is that my whines

Never wake anyone up?

Not even myself.

This poem is (I think) part of me delving into a character of a young adult novel work in progress.


My nerves are jangled, frayed.

Panic touches the under layers

of all my skin, and I take off,

breezing past Jackie and Joe

in as fast a walk as I’m capable of

without actually running.

“I’m out of here.”

            I announce this

like I’m some kind of bad ass.

Spoiler: I am not a bad ass.

If I was a bad ass, I wouldn’t write poems under a pseudonym;

I’d be able to pass a damn driver’s test.

“How are you going to get home?” Jackie calls after me.

“I’ll walk.”

“It’s five miles,” she yells.

“Just go to work. I’m fine.”

And that’s it; that’s as much yelling back through the halls that I’m capable of. I’ve turned a corner and am pounding down the stairs, hanging onto the handrail as I go down, down, down even though the bannister is probably covered in germs from everyone else hanging onto it. I let go and unbalance hits me.

This world is pain.

This world is me

lacking balance.


I am two seconds away from crying as I move past people and push through the doors. The outside air is a little cold. Spring has barely sprung. But it’s full of promise, normally, the smell of dirt losing its frozen solid nature, the buds on the trees popping through the tiniest twiggy limbs.


They aren’t limbs.

They are branches.

“I don’t know how to exist,” I whisper as I start walking.

“I don’t know how to exist in all this life.”

There you go. That’s the thing.

            I don’t know how to exist in this life.

            I don’t know how to survive in this life.

            How do I spring?

Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Eric Van der Westen and the track is called “A Feather” and off the album The Crown Lobster Trilogy.

Author: carriejonesbooks

I am the NYT and internationally-bestselling author of children's books, which include the NEED series, FLYING series, TIME STOPPERS series, DEAR BULLY and other books. I like hedgehogs and puppies and warm places. I have none of these things in my life.

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