Tyler Carter

How to Decode Your Waiting Room

Describe the city skyline:


half sleep, the 99 via down
town, half asleep, the shapes too
soft to be mountains,
too sharp to be clouds.
The buildings are jammed
into the sunset and horizons
don't apologize for leaving.

Describe how the city acts like a living organism:


I wonder what it means
to sleep all day, and eat
too much (but it has nothing to do either,
the wind just hanging in the air
the trees just standing around).
Content to wait, the blood stops flowing
during rush hour and even the sidewalks don't
understand how they can be useful
and ignored.

Describe the Puget Sound:

(but i miss you everywhere i go)

A whine, a plea, a reason to rise
and try the worked before; the work again
misjudgment of opportunity, of passing
jets and floating nowhere in particular
balloons, and pairs and groups and being
the drone that sleeps under the day, and everyday
trails off quietly.

Describe your neighborhood:


Bird and squirrels working together.
Air and ground forces working together.
Bees can't do nothing. They make a living
by instinct. It's hard to do nothing.
It's hard to lay back, and accept
defeat by mid-afternoon.
I didn't go to work today, and don't know what to do
with my blessings.

The Distance Between Still and Quietly


The having part
and the places we already know.

We can move anywhere
and ideas will keep in anything.

Lovely not wanting
and willing to wait.

The reason he falls in love so easy
and imagination has its day.
She repeats,

then presents herself one half of brown, something eyes closed
and moving, pushing down, making the inner violet blush
inside. No, it is not sweet rocket everything and warm, it is
the place as everything and forever.


A package comes but there is no one to receive it.
A package goes.

A window opens.

A window closed.

I wrote a letter but decided not to send it.
A letter, I pretended.

A whistle blows.

A game ended.

A telephone rings but there is no one to get it.



We won't

We want

I want you to know

how awkward this is. (And in asking to speak, the floodgates
were spoken and the valley was flooded. They died that day
and returned themselves to sea.

Tyler Carter currently lives in Oakland California in a six-story apartment building. There is no front porch but there is a wide and oddly secluded patio attached to the back end of the apartment. His favorite front porch was in Portland, Oregon where early in the morning before going into work he would sit on an arm of the couch and have a cigarette. Sometimes it was raining but usually not very hard. Recent and forthcoming publishing credits include American Letters & Commentary, Fence, Tantalum, /nor, H_NGM_N, word for / word, Typo, and Combo. His blog can be found at <iwantedtowriteanemail.blogspot.com>.


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