HomeSouthern VoiceTwo Poems by Gary Carter

Two Poems by Gary Carter


too old to be a poet
but a young place still in him whispers stories
mostly about a loose-limbed girl who touched his hand
perhaps by accident in a stand of aged pines
& seized his heart like a clever goblin
stealing a child’s soul

with stub of pencil
razored sharp as a spear
he scratches words of her bare tanned feet
floating on golden needles fallen from above
the magic of one toe curling down into them
as if to know how deep was this fairy land
on which they stood

a boy & a girl
alone in piney woods
while april whispered a song soft as baby’s breath
& something tore loose inside him
that could never never find its way back

gone with her that girl

who unbidden comes to him still
leaves him no place to hide
haunting spectre in his lonely room

watching an old man struggle frantically
to drag life onto paper before final fragments escape
into a shadowy cavity sucking him away from the world
& back to a walk in piney woods on an april morning
when he wondered if there ever would be anything else

so perfect


ain’t it crazy

how an unexpected burst of old line r&b
can without warning or obvious intent
democratize a room
pushing color & creed & conviction to the corners
replaced by color blind shimmyin’ & shakin’ & finger poppin’
such as the good lord surely intended when he cooked up
all those misaligned muscles joints limbs & ligaments
& handed out eyes & ears & juking corpuscles
such that pure hot beat renders woman & man
slave to relentless itch to jump & shout & testify

celebrating one & all
today fittingly forgotten
& tomorrow only yonder threat

Gary Carter’s short fiction and poetry have appeared in such eclectic outlets as Nashville Review, Steel Toe Review, Dead Mule, The Voices Project, Silver Birch, Real South, Delta Poetry Review and Read Short Fiction. Forthcoming is a collection of short fiction titled Kicking Dante’s Ass, and a new novel Not Dark Yet is making the rounds. Based in North Carolina, he also sells a little real estate on the side. Read Carter’s previous poem in Deep South here.

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