This Is My Libertine Story

by Laura Carter

Schrödinger’s Cat by Caroline Nevin  (

Schrödinger’s Cat by Caroline Nevin (


Games retire into heart
and then the Copernican window
that never quite says what it can say
because the world is made up of obsolete angles.
I listen to Neutral Milk Hotel and think of the two-headed
Hegel, though I know that A does not equal what it is.
On the other side of the city, a couple settles down
and turns on the TV for the last time. And then they get divorced.
It’s as simple as that really, the fact that they have grown apart
because the night crept into them where it hurt.
There’s really nothing left of a city when you
see only the remains of the day, and then nothing left of those old remains.
Salvador and his friends are growing beards again in my latest longing.


Every night we kiss before the sheets become wet with
remnants of bodies lost in space
Before a loss
there is always a voice that comes from somewhere telling us that we should
By we I mean me
and you the one I once remembered
but the dawn is an unruly fool
matched only by night
where things are almost simple and right with the new rain
and everybody
loves to wear a city and
even the sky is a new rooftop


A document is filed under sun and
nothing seems to change.
Outside, the world is what it has always been:
full of people needing to care
and be cared for, full of people needing to hug and be hugged and to be blessed
by something, if not others.
The old people
walk slowly to their doctors’ visits,
making ducks back into dogs,
telling off the sun because it’s so far gone and
the only thing left is
a body—not just one but maybe many
slouching toward a destination.


Modernity is made of old spikes—
you lose one, and then I help you heal where it fell
into the ground into a puddle of milk.
The other side of the revolution
is that a lover can be made of nothing
but himself—pure self—pure nothing but him-him-him-himself
and the world is brighter than an orange May.
A new romance is almost as alphabetic as
the time you escaped from the womb again.


A sun glistens in early
and you don’t know what to do so you make your coffee
and imagine what your next life will be.
Made up of the worlds of alphabet skies,
you’re not all there yet, but you want to be there oh so bad.
While you’re worrying about the next thing, I’m worrying about
where I put the keys to the car in case I need
to flee in the middle of the night and
drive to the station to write a letter.
The next thing I want to do is become ordinary,
as plain as new luxe
but not entirely live
as a wire is live, not entirely all that way.
The place near the desk where you put your chair spins.


As it turns out, the animals are awake
and listening to Cyndi Lauper on iTunes
until 3 in the morning, just because they can.
Everything for sale, until dawn
hits and their lovers turn over in their beds.
Neglect? you might ask. What’s the working world about?
It’s not the lake anyone needed.
It’s not even Times Square where the cultures are all blending and
and suddenly your Jungianism seems obsolete, retarded
by the station moving forward in space.


Someone wants to enter the door of the law for the last time.
It’s like shuffling what’s left—
with tears for ordinary
time schedules train stations left.
The latest groove is an exercise in fear,
when the world doesn’t want to take you in.
Someone enters the last door
and begs a little sustenance
as if remembering what a love was for.

laura carterLaura Carter lives in Atlanta, where she is poet-in-residence at WonderRoot Center for Art & Social Change until March. Her most recent chapbooks are out in 2014 with Dancing Girl and ShirtPocket Presses. She has published many poems online and in print journals, and she lives on the east side of the city with her two cats, Sasha and Sonya.

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Categories: Writing


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One Comment on “This Is My Libertine Story”

  1. December 11, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

    Reblogged this on garnet & ashes.


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