White Whale Review: An Online Literary Magazine Untitled Document
Mark DeCarteret
Mark DeCarteret is the seventh Poet Laureate of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. His poetry has appeared in many journals, including AGNI, Chicago Review, Cream City Review, The Del Sol Review, failbetter, New Orleans Review, Salt Hill, Sonora Review, and Third Coast, and his work is forthcoming in Boston Review, and Salamander. His books include the chapbooks Over Easy (Minotaur Press, 1991) and The Great Apology (Oyster River Press, 2001), Review: A Book of Poems (Kettle of Fish Press, 1995) and his most recent collection (If This Is the) New World (March Street Press, 2009). His work has also appeared in several anthologies. In addition, he served as an editor for the anthology Under the Legislature of Stars—62 New Hampshire Poets (Oyster River Press, 1999).
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Mark DeCarteret



A mole can move

the whole forest

while searching for

some word of the sun.

And though I was no one

you’d ever heard of

when I returned home

you welcomed me in.

The sky’s up to something—

what little there is in the way

of light’s missed us again.

In that same way I’ll know that

you’ll lie when I ask you how

isn’t the soul just another word

we’ve reserved for some

part of us long abandoned—

for I too have spent

most of this other life

shunning the touch of

that same exact shadow.

Mark DeCarteret



I tried talking down the hollyhocks again.

In late September, something gets in them.


Seems the sky widens as the winter lets on.

And then it’s all business. Almost deafening blue.


I’ve made the mistake of confessing again.

Graying clouds. One throat-clearing after another.


You dead-head the buds. Close your eyes while you whistle.

As close to any advice as I’ll let myself walk beneath.











Copyright © Mark DeCarteret. White Whale Review, issue 1.3

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