Karl W. Carter

Brag: Karl Carter


I was born singing In the rushes

            like Moses

Like Muddy Waters on a

            Street corner in Chicago

Like Hollin’ Wolf in dem clubs

                        Up North

Like Brownie McGee

            with his folk guitar

I was born singing that

            low life song at

            Louie Jordon’s

                        House Party

I was born listening to the Blue

Notes of my mothers’ song

A love song sung with a singed lounge

Filled with the emptiness of Miles muted horn

I was born listening to melody of

             Of Hendricks’s guitar

To the rhythm of Prince’s lyrics

To the Humming Bird wale of Lil’ Walter’s harmonica

I was born listening to the sorrowful cry of

                      the night train

                          that lonesome sound

                                              from Coltrane’s horn

                                                       On a cold misty morning

I was born dancing like Bojangles

Just like Sammy

Just like Mista Hines

Doing the old soft shoe

That old soft shoe

Strutting like Sportin’ Beasley

Putin on the dog

                  Putin on the dog

                            Putin on the dog

Karl W. Carter, Jr. resides in Alexandria, VA. He is the author of two books of poems, Southern Road and Other Selected Poems (Create Space, 2014), and Sojourner and Other Poems (CreateSpace, 2010), and the poetry broadsides A Season in Sorrow (Broadside Press, 1972) and Three Poems (Broadside Press, 1972). His poetry has appeared in the journals Drum Voices Review, Chicken Bones, Delaware Poetry Review, Broadkill Review, and Journal of Hip Hop Studies, and the anthologies Understanding the New Black Poetry; Synergy D.C. Anthology; The Poet Upstairs: An Anthology of Washington Area Poets; Off the Record: An Anthology of Poetry By Lawyers; Freedom In My Heart: Voices From the United States National Slavery Museum; and Words of Protest, Words of Freedom, Poetry of the American Civil Rights Movement and Era.