Poetry by Jared Carter
Visitant What is that calling on the wind that never seems a moment still? That moves in darkness like a hand of many fingers taken chill? What is it seeking when it flows about my head, and seems to wrest All motion from my heart, as though I still had something to confess? How can it be it knows my crime – this troubled whistling in the air? 'Tis true, I left her long behind, but this is dark, and she was fair. (First published in The New Formalist) Snow At every hand there are moments we cannot quite grasp or understand. Free to decide, to interpret, we watch rain streaking down the window, the drain emptying, leaves blown by a cold wind. At least we sense a continuity in such falling away. But not with snow. It is forgetfulness, what does not know, has nothing to remember in the first place. Its purpose is to cover, to leave no trace of anything. Whatever was there before – the worn broom leaned against the door and almost buried now, the pile of brick, the bushel basket filling up with thick, gathering whiteness, half sunk in a drift – all these things are lost in the slow sift of the snow's falling. Now someone asks if you can remember – such a simple task – the time before you were born. Of course you cannot, nor can I. Snow is the horse that would never dream of running away, that plods on, pulling the empty sleigh while the tracks behind it fill, and soon everything is smooth again. No moon, no stars, to guide your way. No light. Climb up, get in. Be drawn into the night. (First published in A Dance in the Street) School of Ragtime, Exercise No. 6 Saw you first one April day king, queen, sun, moon Whistled you outside to play right, left, fork, spoon Took you down to the river’s edge penny candy, paper doll Showed you bullheads under the ledge butterfingers, jackstone ball Say goodbye to your last dime up, down, cat, dog Gonna rag that tune this time leaf, tree, axe, log (First published in The Devil's Millhopper)
Jared Carter’s most recent collection, The Land Itself, is from Monongahela Books in West Virginia. His Darkened Rooms of Summer: New and Selected Poems, with an introduction by Ted Kooser, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2014. A recipient of several literary awards and fellowships, Carter is from the state of Indiana in the U.S.
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