Chris O’Carroll


Twelve Steps
(for my sober friends, and others)

Step One is a snap. You walk into a bar.
Two’s simple—you order a drink.
The night is still young; you still know who you are;
You know how to walk, talk, and think.

Step Three, you feel good, the drink went down fine,
So you figure you’ll order one more,
Be it a cocktail, a beer, or some wine.
Then more of the same for Step Four.

Step Five, the bartender looks pretty hot.
You’re pretty sure he or she wants you.
(The truth is that she or he really does not,
But no mere reality daunts you.)

Now your opinions get loud at Step Six.
You know the whole world needs to hear
Your views about women and men, politics,
And who’ll win the big game this year.

Step Seven, the bar’s full of all your best friends,
And some of your friends want to fight.
You’ve heard that Step Eight has to do with amends,
And that’s starting to feel about right.

Although at Step Nine you are feeling no pain,
It appears that you’ve started to bleed.
Step Ten is a question—drink more or abstain?
Or maybe switch over to weed?

Step Eleven, you pick yourself up off the floor.
It feels like the evening is done.
Step Twelve, you ask how many steps to the door,
And the bouncer explains there’s just one.



Sweetbreads ain’t bread.
Sweetbreads ain’t sweet.
Sweetbreads ain’t fit
For humans to eat.

Sweetbreads ain’t sweet.
Sweetbreads ain’t bread.
Sweetbreads ain’t got
Edibility cred.

Sweetbreads are glands,
Pig, lamb, or cow—
The awfulest offal
That poses as chow.


Yellow Brick Limerick

Said a young lady traveling in Oz,
“The three guys in my life have real floz.
I’ve got one who lacks heart,
One who’s not very smart,
One with no balls, which gives a girl poz.”


purpleLChris O’Carroll is a writer and an actor. In addition to his previous appearances in Light, he has published poems in BigCityLit, Free Inquiry, The Higgs Weldon, Lighten Up Online, and Snakeskin, among other print and online journals, and in the anthologies The Best of the Barefoot Muse and 20 Years at the Cantab Lounge.