Bolton Carley

This week on cavalcadeofstars Bolton Carley debuts in her usual humorous style.

Family Topics
Of Conversation

By Bolton Carley

So you think
it’s normal that
my husband-at-the-
nearly splattered
the entire
table with mashed
potato remnants just
because he was
shocked by the
traditional family
conversation of
heifers in heat, bull
semen, and Artificial
we all thought
his reaction was a
little repulsive,
if you
must know the truth.

Emmy’s Lament:
Too many cooks…

By Bolton Carley

Your family really knows how to put
A family dinner on –
Scrumptious down-home cooking
Straight off a Cooking Delight magazine cover.
Your mom’s house aroma entranced me the minute I arrived
With her prime rib roasting in the oven
The homemade mashed potatoes and brown, meat gravy
simmering on the stovetop
And the flavor was as impressive as the view.

So I saw your oldest sister whipped up
The green bean casserole with extra French onions on top,
The broccoli and cheese casserole I am transfixed with,
And the cherry cheesecake that melted in my mouth.

Your other sister, she made
The basket of light, fluffy, oatmeal rolls that I might have snuck
Into my purse if nobody had been watching
The monster bars that were a meal in themselves,
And those caramels slid down like butter.

Everything was so fabulously wonderful!
I’m definitely taking left-overs.
But, I’m sorry.
I must have missed it.
What exactly did you bring?”

Damn. She caught me…
“The plastic plates and silverware.”

Blame Game
By Bolton Carley

Blame it on mom.
Blame it on dad.
Blame it on piss poor genetics.
Blame it on bad karma.
Blame it on fate.
Blame it on God for all I care.

You can glare into your mirrored reflection.
You can cuss at the misguided bathroom scale.
You can pace the gym.
You can detest the angle of every photograph.
You can mani/pedi-new-hairdo-yourself to death.
You can rely on surgical enhancements if you want.

You can sob into your pillow.
You can hate what you’ve been given.
You can compare yourself on every occasion.
You can dream a better situation.
You can complain to your therapist.
You can torture yourself for what you have no control of.

Blame it on mom.
Blame it on dad.
Blame it on piss poor genetics.
Blame it on bad karma.
Blame it on fate.
Blame it on God if you’re going to,

But it won’t change the fact
That she’s just better looking than us.

Comforting my King
By Bolton Carley

Oh, honey,
I know you don’t wanna go.

It ranks with
Having teeth pulled,
Getting a colonoscopy,
Paying taxes,
Hitting your finger with a hammer,
Eating snot-covered baby squash,
Or getting trapped in a tornado-struck ditch.

I love you,
And maybe your mother loves you,
And even though
We’re not really sure,
You still have to go.
Your brothers are counting on you.
Your nieces and nephews love you.
And yes, your sister-in-laws despise you,
But we’re going anyway.

Never mind
That the food will be cold,
Your mother will be cussing under her breath,
And there’s not enough beer
To keep you happy,
But you’re going…
it’s called family obligation.
And even though
Everyone there will be
Completely dysfunctional,
We will be there anyway
With Lee-Press-On smiles on
Our lying faces.

Family Photo-Taking
By Bolton Carley

Yes, I know you think
This sucks.

No, we can’t just skip it!

I realize other families
Color-coordinate for their pictures
But we’re just going to be happy
With everybody
Actually being here
AND in the photo.

So get over there next to the backdrop
And before you even ask why
We have to do this, let me remind you:
A. Because I said so
B. Because I don’t think it’s too much to ask on my parents’ 50th anniversary
C. Because I love this process so much
D. Because torturing you is my favorite thing to do.

Now that we have that cleared up,
Get your ass over there!
And I expect to see you smile.
No, not a fake “I-hate-this” smile,
A real one.
And don’t make me come over there.

Casey, don’t cross your eyes on purpose
Or we’ll make it a permanent thing.
Conner, I am well aware that your middle finger
Is sticking up in the air.
It can be broken off if it doesn’t remember
That this is for your grandparents’ viewing pleasure.
Tonya, you need to button one more button, honey.
This is a family photo, not ladies’ night at Mooners’ Pub.
And Jake, quit trying to hide behind Casey.

Okay, on the count of 3
Open your eyes and smile big!
1… 2…
I said on 3!
Never mind.
I think I’ll just Photoshop you all in,
But don’t be surprised if you all have devil horns!

Bio –

Bolton Carley can be found blogging on T10 and 6S with Jeanette. She loves having people check out her personal humorous site, as well. Her young adult verse novel, Hello, Summer Vacay! can be purchased on Amazon. com.


About vision791

Pushcart nominee Jeanette Cheezum has been published on several online writing sites and in fifteen Anthology books and four poetry books. Three of these books have made the New York Times Best Sellers list. Awarded The Helium Networks Premium Writer’s Badge, Bronze Creative Writing Award and a Marketplace Writers award. Recently she has published thirteen ebooks at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You may find a list of some of her work at
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13 Responses to Bolton Carley

  1. Madam Z says:

    This was so much fun! I was smiling all the way through, even though I had started out in a “piss poor” mood.

  2. MDJB says:

    Love ’em all, and most especially Family Photo Taking. There is a sort of dysfunction running through all the pieces, but it always sounds as if the narrator has the situation nominally under control.
    Bolton Carley is worth three Martha Stewarts and two Erma Bombecks–full house–she wins. So do we, every time she appears in print.

  3. Diana E. Backhouse says:

    Love them, Carley! Family Topics of Conversation triggered a memory for me which I’ll tell you about in a six sometime.

  4. Harry says:

    Funny stuff as usual Bolton. Looking forward to reading what you do on your summer vacation!

  5. Ed Dean says:

    Bolton, you make the truth so entertaining! Every vignette is a gem, gal.

  6. Elliott says:

    Oooohhhh this is awkward. Kidding, of course! I started rolling at “Family Topics” and didn’t stop until what I was reading sounded a lot like a bio…..Oh yeah, I guess it was! Great stuff, Bolton.

  7. Gita says:

    I feel like I walked into a comedy club and a brilliant new comic doing stand-up has the room in stitches. It’s hard to say which is my favorite, but I believe it’s “Tonya, you need to button one more button, honey. This is a family photo, not ladies’ night at Mooners’ Pub.” Michael Brown mentioned Erma Bombeck and I think he nailed it — except that you are slightly more wicked.

  8. Mike Handley says:

    You had me at “bull semen,” which once had to be acted out in a Handley family (no children present) charades game.

  9. I love your poems! Why not go to The Word Place for details about our Summer 2011 Issue and submit some poems?

    Sal Buttaci

  10. ed dean says:

    I’m with Gita on this.
    “Protecting my King” was a fall down stitch Bolton and the rest weren’t too far behind.

Comments are closed.