The Intersecting Angles of Colonialism’s Long Shadow

To begin, let me say that this is an exploration of my own journey through understanding colonialism and its reach and impact on the modern day. Very little of this will touch on my education, as I wanted to focus on the more anecdotal moments, where I felt personally struck by some kind of realization, than on an education system that presumably dropped the ball more often than not.

The Story of a European Unwillingly Abroad

When I was around thirteen, just entering Junior High School in Washington DC, I got to know a kid who didn’t really know anyone at the school. The way our school…

The Postmortem of Initiative 77: A Case Study in Anti-Democratic Bipartisanship to the Detriment of Service Workers

Here’s an image of a man deciding on our flag for us, to hopefully establish the theme of this article

There’s something of an understanding about politics among residents of the District of Columbia. It’s not: “don’t talk about them in polite company,” as it may be in other places in the country, so much as “fuck this.” Now, when I say residents, I do not mean the seasonal migrant laborers from the states who are blissfully represented in American democracy, such as congress people, congressional staffers, their assistants, assisstant’s assistant, etc. Those folks are all politics all the time. They understand the…

I would like to address a point (really, two that become one) that has been tumbling around in my head since early yesterday, regarding the assault on the Capitol building. Frankly, I hardly know what to call it. Siege feels like a dramatic term the media has cooked up for incredibly unclear reasons (what about it is like a siege? They were given so much allowance for their actions, got violent for what felt like minutes, and then just moseyed around the desks). Ransack is not quite right either. …

There is an expression, popularized by Bob Woodward, and adopted by the Washington post, initially to a surprised response. “Democracy Dies in Darkness” — a provocative phrase that felt like a jab to the corruption prevalent in the years of 2016 and 2017. But I am set to wonder if it tells the truth.

Can we say that democracy has won the day because a group of angry but impotent far-right fools have stormed the capital and — what I can only mockingly call “occupied” it — but were ultimately repelled? No. Their agitation was tepid, the response, tepid.


Security, liability, and culpability in the West.

When I was a child, I remember going to school and being assumed innocent. When I grew up a bit, I remember being scared of, but eventually becoming numb to the metal detectors at school, the bag scanning to get in.

I remember thinking those things were there just to keep us safe. That they were non-political.

When I was a child, I remember believing nothing about 9/11 — Nothing in particular. I was a kid, and thus “apolitical” about it. Even today, if you ask an adult, they would probably say its an apolitical stance to claim that it…

Or: How not to construct a horror satire.

This is going to be rife with spoilers, in that it more or less starts with crucial ones. If you want to see the movie at some point and haven’t yet, now’s your chance to stop reading.


It’s a cursed items plot which nominally follows a comeuppance/revenge porn structure, but instead of it being undue or extreme punishment exacted on teenagers who ignore the warnings about an abandoned place in order to find a quiet place to bang, it’s about greed. …

The Convergence of the use of “I”

There is a certain irony to beginning this piece this way, but in describing myself as a poet, one of the clearest elements of my style is my rejection of “I” as often as possible. It has been this way for me since I was about 17 and finding my creative boundaries. I often talk at length with friends about why I write the way I do, should they ask. I feel fairly confident in my ability to trace certain eras and trends. …

An inscrutable event, obscured and protected from analysis and criticism by a thick veneer of memorialization — that is what we are left with. The deaths were all very real. And yet it becomes perpetrator versus perpetrator- one side being those of the individuals who let their individual beliefs dictate that they attack a collective, known as the American populace, on the basis of even broader national ideas, culture, and sentiments. The retaliation, and its perpetrators stepped down to equal footing. …

I’ve been thinking for a while now about the best way to do this, and, short of posting this in tiny pieces (which would both take forever and come off rightfully disjointed), I’ve decided to try the beta-reader route.

To keep things simple:

  • This is essentially a manuscript of one large story in poem format.
  • The subject of said story is a re-imagining of the rhetorical device known as a Fool’s Journey, used to explain the meaning behind tarot cards, but in this case, used to also tell a story.
  • It follows Orpheus after his death as he meets characters…

I signed up to get notifications on Medium from the Creativity s̵u̵b̵r̵e̵d̵d̵i̵t̵ Topic. I suppose, at first, I assumed it would be made up of examples of tips for creative writing — and for the most part, it is. However, one article I have seen over and over, in one form or another, is the article about how to live up to one’s ambition, cleverly disguised as a take-down of said ambitions. And perhaps this has a very real purpose, assuaging a common fear for writers while mixing in a self-deprecation driven fake-out that might resonate even more than the…

Jay Carter

Creative writer, essayist, poet, once and future novelist. I write what suits me, and poetry and muted, biting, commentary suit me fine.

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