Seven Poems by Nathan Wade Carter

Not fearless but not driven by no lower animal
afire, full red. Not mute for legs. Not sea foam.
Not TKO’d on tornado. No. I tried that.
The world was not color. It was cinereous.
I want ROYGBIV and more.
Body and throat hoarse.
We shot the steed of we leg by leg.
We watched it in slow motion. Lake eye. No fish. No rip.
Our pyres once bonfire turn single serving.
I try my own fire. Hurts to hold it.
More damage done by being silent.

The ocean documentary
Said we are the bottom dwellers
Of the land world
We fish to extinction
I cry
Find the cypher
Crack jokes
A symbol of cyprus
A cygnet feather
How to build anything
A muscle
A rapport with men
A part of but apart from
I need a storytime dinnerlight
A dumbbell epiphany
A gimme twenty
A movie star with his shirt off
I can’t stay hard
I can’t soften
What’s left of my hair
I vaguely valley
I convex quite quick
I undrip
I dress for myself
Nothing fits
A cat ear turns
For each click and crack
A heater
A toe
Each dropped thing of interest
A curiosity non-lethal
A rough in rhinestone crust
You have to be poor to feel like a million bucks
Sun-smooched shoulders
A blushing yoke
My name is about carrying
Oneself or something else
Classically across a river
Of course water
A log bridge
Natural fallen
An uncensored monologue
It’s you not me
A being to be with
undistorted or undead
Looking for all the wrong places in love
With mushrooms and slugs
And other bugs
I don’t know the names of

Let it be known
the unknown is a known no-no.
I nestle in nettles, paused,
I read your mind, say what
you mean.
I nestle in packing
peanuts, I part
banana from peel,
I bury ostrich heads
across deserts. Do not
purr words into my mouth,
I will cough
up a lung, dusty.
I will unveil Death
Valley’s taupe
Let it be known.
The unknown is a known no-no.


A badger den. A hole to fold in on.
An old t-shirt drawer.
What we hide under socks & underwear.
Under which we are heart full or less.
What’s more is I have dug this mouth.
Not for a foot but for offering.
A digestif.
Digest me if possible.
I am not for every body.
A B&W blizzard grinding teeth.
A sandstorm.
A lost nose.
Bury me with my cats and other valuables.
We dig holes a predator cannot enter.
I can survive the Mojave if you’ll have me.
If I am hungry.
If I am young.
If I have wrinkles.
Blame time spent smiling.
I dig in eye corner with pointer knuckle.
Shuffle to coffee and cream.

Should a magnet moon pull you above ground for a second,
should a time for the gentle tide to sip you like milkshake through those big straws come,
should I write with fever or felt, I don’t want to expel you.
I am boringly interested in being fair, which does not sell books,
& the best survival advice—should you find yourself surviving—’get one good pot.’

A two beer mid-afternoon.
A morel tart & a cortado.
Memory of Santiago.
A spray-painted city.
A concrete city.
Where I learn the word for ashtray.
I’m old enough to notice.
I am not twenty.
I am sitting next to a cactus.
I am in white shorts.
I watch men on laptops.
We pose and hope.
We correct our posture.
We hide in honeycomb.
We feed a new queen.
We die.
A buzzing scythe.
A black bee.
A tender death.
I’ve touched enough antennae.
Quota filled.
Quoth another harbinger.
A soul’s familiar.
The smartest of dark animals.
A speaking creature
that can be taught.
An ebony feather is luck.
Children of different countries.
Nurtured by mermaids
chopped at with propeller blades.
A fleshy leak of red oil spilled.
A slow kill is less humane.
Like marriage.
Like staying.
A merciless vortex.
Never full.
I retract.
A talon.
A canine.
A violent trained thing.
A releasing of venom.
The need of such a thing.
I am cured of my want
for attention or sex.
I’ve been touched and fucked.
I no longer want.
Other capital O
inhabiting shell fresh.
No astral project.
No avoidance.
No neglect.
My learned
self hatred
Rain will rinse.
I will dry.

Nathan Wade Carter is a poet, musician and artist living in Portland, Oregon. His poetry can be found in Potluck Magazine, Souvenir, Powder Keg Magaizine, Voicemail Poems, Pacifica Literary Review, and Zoomoozophone Review. He writes and performs songs under the name Purrbot. Find him online at