Jefferson Carter

Jefferson Carter Poems

My wife asked me this morning
if I'd ever cheated on her.
My ex-wife called this afternoon
& asked me the same thing.

I wanted something
Eastern European, you know,
something portentous
in the best sense of the word,

Jefferson Carter Biography

I'm currently writing department chair at a community college in Tucson, Arizona, where I've lived since 1954 and where I teach composition and poetry writing. I've had seven chapbooks published by various local and national presses. My latest book, 'Sentimental Blue, ' is available online from

The Best Poem Of Jefferson Carter

Litter Box

My wife asked me this morning
if I'd ever cheated on her.
My ex-wife called this afternoon
& asked me the same thing.
What's going on?
That new Italian movie
the art film crowd adores,
the characters hysterical, nearly
operatic, their marriages dead
or dying. I imagine all those couples
sipping capuccino after the movie,
nibbling biscotti, that close
to confessing their own infidelities.
I love my wife. I don't whine
about my latest chore, cleaning
the litter box four or five times
a day. I can imagine one
of those histrionic Italian husbands
fuming, yearning for his mistress
as he kneels by the reeking box,
scooping cat feces & urinous clots
of litter into a plastic bag.
The second I'm done, our old cat
comes running. Otherwise,
he limps from room to room, moaning
like the ghost of some animal
whose bladder burst.
I love that old cat. Most nights
he snuggles under the comforter,
buzzing between me & my wife like a
space heater I need to repair.

Jefferson Carter Comments

Daniel Tyler 10 January 2006

The unrivalled master of free verse- cynical at times, full of crisp metaphors and adept at using dark humour where appropriate.

1 9 Reply
Sue Ann Simar 20 December 2006

Jefferson Carter, I received your book, SENTIMENTAL BLUE, and have enjoyed my first read-through. I especially like how you find meaning and mood in the ordinary details of your life. You're very observent, and also have a great ear when putting it all together. I can really hear your work as I'm reading it. Your images are compressed-no wasted words. I like how you involve the reader in ordinary details and avoid conventional 'poetic' language and images. Thanks for the read, Sue Ann Simar

1 7 Reply
Mahnaz Zardoust-Ahari 21 February 2006

You bring reality into your poems. This I think is what I like about your poems. It feels as if I am in the situation of which you write. You are good poet JC and I like reading what you post. I try to read anything new that you post because you do keep me!

1 7 Reply
Daniel Einstein 18 September 2012

Came across your page out of plain luck, realized then, all the comments people have posted about you are very disliked. There is a different on giving positive yet negative feed back and just telling people to, and I quote, j, stop writing right now, lay off the ego. are you the greatest poet in the world, are you adored by millions on your writing? I don't think so, all I am saying to you, is there are different approaches.

1 2 Reply

Jefferson's poetry loves to bite Reality.straightforward, no frillls.Enjoy conversations and quick wit.

1 10 Reply
Joseph Daly 21 August 2007

Jefferson is not only a great poet but also a great spokesman for poetry. His poems ooze invention, wit and beauty. He can provoke, or dumbfound you. His work is never dull and this maybe because of the obvious labour that he puts into his writing. He is not a poet to sit back and be content with his lot. Jefferson enjoys pushing the boundaries, and as a result, it is the reader who benefits.

1 11 Reply
Isaias Rendon 28 March 2007

Intresting poet to meet and learn from.

1 11 Reply

Jefferson Carter is a stellar poet/writer possessed of tremendous talent, wit, style, music, and insight. When I first started coming to Poemhunter, I played in language, because, well, it's so much fun to do, and I was working diligently to find my own voice and strengthening it to the point where it would be recognizable anywhere. Jefferson Carter, Dr. Carter, sort of took me under his wing, recommended writers I would enjoy, even if he didn't, or writers that he enjoyed, even if I didn't, to help me grow as a writer, and as a thinker. He is a true teacher, and a true poet. As I continue to read his work, I am constantly amazed at how effortless he makes writing good poetry appear to be. I strive to be the kind of writer that he is, without compromise, and with beautiful style. Jefferson is my poetic hero at Poemhunter. He continues to publish his work and is frequently invited to read from his many published works. IMO, we are so very lucky to have a writer of his very high calibre here.

3 10 Reply

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