I live in Tucson with my wife Connie and volunteer with Sky Island Alliance, a regionally-based environmental organization. I am also poetry editor for Zócalo, a local arts magazine. I'm an opportunist, not a poet with a plan. Whatever catches my fancy, I write about: an engaging image, a political or environmental issue, a bit of zoology, an overheard conversation, and, of course, love, love, love. In grad school, I fell in love with Jonathan Swift. Thirty years later, I still have to rein in my satirical impulses to protect whatever is tender in my poems. Diphtheria Festival, my tenth poetry collection, is now available from Main Street Rag Publishing. My new website: jeffersoncarterverse.com .
FINALLY, A LOVE POEM FOR MY WIFE
You’re my sticky mat, my
power anthem, my vertebrae
like pearls on a string,
one at a time. You read me
letters to the editor, news
from the parallel universe:
“Simply look at the man
who is our president, see
a good man, with a good heart.”
You tell me funny stories,
someone’s son explaining he
can’t watch gratuitous violence
but he can watch historical
violence. Or some kid defining
the parts of speech: Lungs. Air.
You’re my lungs, my air.
---from Sentimental Blue (Chax Press, 2007)
How do you say “Come back,
Little Breast” without sounding
like a fucktard? How do you say
“Goodnight, Left Breast, my favorite,
I’ll see you in my dreams”?
My friend insists nobody means
“no body” & no one means
“no person.” He’s wrong.
Who’s going to live forever?
No body. No person.
There’s a movie titled, ironically,
“I Love My Wife.” At the bar,
some actors shout “We love
our wives,” shaping air quotes around
the word “love.” I love my wife.
—from Diphtheria Festival (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2016)
© 2017 Jefferson Carter
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell him or her. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is the beginning of community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -FF