Bill Carty

All Twelve Acres of the Rockefeller
Center are Dark Tonight



To call a beetle boneless

is to be technically correct

but annoying. It is not

first date behavior. Outside

the club it’s raining atoms.

A dog steals a sodden

biscuit then slurps from

a discarded wingtip. Steven

is in the bathroom rinsing

a stamp from his wrist:

he wants to step out

for a smoke and never

come back. He treats love

like a counterfeit bill he

needs to move but knows

he shouldn’t. He was excited

to rent a house close

to the zoo but discovered

it was the modern type,

always turning wild pigs

into peccaries.

Beam Me Up, Buttercup



When the sky is uncongested

we let our hair down.

We steam florets of broccoli.

We eat colorless bowls of rice

where forks disappear.

Soon we only see

what a gourd can see.

A gourd’s light is external.

In deep space nothing

reflects from the gourd

and nothing reflects from us.

We try to make the gourd blink

and it mocks us for trying.

At least we don’t give up easy

as aspens, which cede too much

yellow. We are dim satellites

orbiting a mute vegetable.

We’re not as unique as we sound.

We have decent vocabulary

and a craving for gyros.

Oh, and the radio. So tell me,

Who do you love?

Who do you love?






BILL CARTY has recently published in Poetry NorthwestOctopusHobart, and Sixth Finch, and his chapbook Refugium is available from Alice Blue Books. He is the Seattle editor at Coldfront Magazine, a recent fellow at the Richard Hugo House, and a current fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA.