Bill Carty


I’ve heard third-hand each stanza is a room.
In June, yard too means room. In June, yard
means the room where I cure my innards,
where I stew them in liquor. The crevasse

over the stream where the snow melts first
is a room and so is each tulip.
The nurse log becoming the forest floor
is a room with the promise of future rooms.

In bed with another, my hand seeks the knob
to the next room. The tattered couch makes
the porch a messy room and, says the landlord,
“has to go.” For a second I thought

my car a room, but it’s just traffic.
Asthma is an owl in the room
of my lungs. A tenderloin sliced yea thick
is a room with walls of burnt skin.

Each song is a room I leave blushing
when my singing’s done. All these rooms.
All the clouds drifting through their open doors.
No wonder I am always outside.


“Room” is reprinted from Sixth Finch.

Originally from a small town in coastal Maine, Bill Carty moved to Seattle after receiving a BA from Dartmouth College and an MFA from University of North Carolina-Wilmington. His poems are published in numerous local and national journals, including Sixth Finch, Diagram, Floating Bridge Review, Transom, and Page Boy. His chapbook “Refugium” was recently published by alice blue books. Bill’s first full-length manuscript, “Tomahawks,” has been named a finalist for the National Poetry Series, the Four Way Books Intro Award and Saturnalia Books. In 2010, he participated in the Jack Straw Writers Program, and he is a Made at Hugo House fellow for 2012-13.

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