Poor Claudia published poetry, prose and conversations online and in print from 2009 to 2018.

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Nathan Wade Carter

Seven poems

  • Double Dutch
  • Never
  • Arrive Light
  • Hex
  • Tidal
  • Bird Island
  • Curtain

Double Dutch

pink blood
this camouflage fails
I let my fruit drop
I let my wrists do as they like
the grey mind
eaten
electric
kitchen chair

my mother
fought her husband
called father
he lost his title
when he choked her
in the kitchen
& proceeded
to watch football

and as I became a man
my father retreated
to the south
and settled
for less
I miss him

double dutch
each rope a parent
each child jumps
into something
swirling
tight cords slap asphalt

it’s not my fault
but I carry it
pink blood engine
empty to smoke
and totalled
dead metal
roadside
unattraction

Never

I am delicate
a succulent
arid
temporal
displaced
a burst of birds
I am delicate

roots become unfollowable
    become hair-sized
threads sewn through rock and loam
and woven

a competition of lovers
antithesis of true purpose
the capillaries of my affection are amputated

I nervously fill space
when I am alone I am quiet
save singing
save telling the cat she’s a good girl

fish twist
a defense mechanism with no mechanic
arc wanted

let my gravestone read
never minded
never carried
never nothing
never not nothing

Arrive Light

the almost sprig of my heart

the skin unwanting

the green fingertips

I push at my bark

trees communicate through roots touching

let me be untended sacred

let me feel less     defeated by little things

I locate the shame and cradle it

I walk into the circle

I light a small fire

I remain and pray

I leave having left  the impossible jerk I am to myself

Hex

he never married
he took the first ever photograph of a snowflake
he kept taking their pictures
his oeuvre imperfect tiny hexes

so much coded in water
each snowflake carries content
eat a handful
see what water has to say

Tidal

dried jellyfish litter
the beach
clustered together
smell of fish
you can tell they used to be
purple

the tide is out
like mine
I build a sand castle
I learn from the muscles
I drip dry
I write about the ocean
and when I am faced by it
I am a humble animal
this untamed body
I have come from

I watch the waves
I watch vultures eat
something dead on the beach
unidentifiable
I watch
a crow watch
the vultures leave
a human walks too near
a crow doesn’t care
he gets in there tearing
boasting
showing the world how to do it

Bird Island

I cup an egg delicate
I know how to put it in my mouth
Oh shouting bird
My island peeking out of the ocean
This risen earth
All full of things
Entire creatures
Their mouths and assholes
What bodies make
I sit down in my peppered nest
And press letters into wood
The memory and recordings of trees

Curtain

we throw a ball around
each time it hits a hand it changes / various spheres
a globe with every country / a dodge ball / a glass marble shooter
a balloon / and sometimes a face

we test each one to see / does it float sink
or submerge without touching the bottom of whatever this is we’re standing in
some kind of water / slow flowing / we sit down in it
the line between water & air / up to our chests / soft hair
I feel crayfish shoot by / little minnows take skin off my feet and clean my leg hair
I feel taken care of

I walk out of the water like a doe / watchful and careful
dripping / slowly I put my hand on your shoulder and squeeze
your smile means we are animals together
I let you be the kind of animal you are
I am relieved to be my animal
a true form I cannot change from
this one
this one is permanent

Nathan Wade Carter

Nathan Wade Carter is a queer, grey-a poet, musician, and artist living in Portland, Oregon. His poetry can and will be found in Heavy Feather Review, Horse Less Press, Souvenir, Powder Keg Magazine, The Fem, and others. He is editor and founder of SUSAN / The Journal. He writes and performs songs under the name Purrbot. He is recording a new album called DNR. Find him online at nathanwadecarter.com.