University Days

An Archive of Poems written from age 18-23.


All Poems are written by Matt Carter


These Poems come mainly from my time at SFSU.  I continued to write without a pause but this was the time in my life when music really grabbed me and I diverted a lot of my thought energy to writing songs.  Anything that didn't fit into song material was kept in a folder.  There were close to 80 poems in it, here are some of the highlights.





A Long Line


Can someone please open the

door man tips his hat

waiting for a

smile from the old

manor up on the hill which

belonged to a rich Jew who

didn't eat hammer and nails

construction men sweat

these arms build cities

and just about everything

she touches turns to golden

sunset on the California Coast

deodorant soap sliding from hand to

shower floored the accelerator

and grooved on down the long stretch

of open rodeo girls

tight blue jeans and

pretty smiles that cut

your stomach in have to do

anything you don't want to

dude was slick

like a clean shave and everyone nude

girls dancing in my mind

lost between there and the

physical worldly men gather

around long tables solving

problems from the brief

cases of toilet paper delivered

by a driver who doesn't really

want to unload them all

lines bleed together.





Hello green world

let me make my peace

For I know that my time is brief

As One part of me smiles to the oncoming sky

that is filled with the non religious eternal life

The other part kisses this gentle Earth

Place of now

Place of Birth

and savors this air

and sings a sigh

Prepared but uneager to die





I'll call this poem "Why I can't see"

but I won't use it as a title

instead a first line

which in fact

it was only the second half of...

I say see

to mean

more about understanding than visual perception

You see

I have baby blues

not a Muddy waters tune from the early days

but how they described my eyes

which peered out into the surrounding world

and saw things much as I see them today

minus meaning and names

As the years passed

I was labeled

near sighted


narrow-mindedly wide eyed

began to believe that the windows to my soul

were blurry, teary, and starry

I was told not to trust them because the hand was quicker

but seeing is believing

seeing is perceiving

For a time I tried

bedroom eyes

vacant eyes

eagles eyes

but to my surprise

battling an organ bigger than my stomach

I had to create my own understanding

while I wasn't looking

so you see

I might be blind.




With My Destiny

I've got the 5 o'clock shadow of your smile

staring across the aisle

I've got the welter weight of the world

pressing me down a mile

I've got uptown, uptight

out of town, outta sight 


internal plight

conditioned, trained,

hairbrained forcefed thouroghbred

like ideas splattered on the inside

of my head

I've got the hypnogogic horror show

all I know

all subjects, faces, words and places

taken apart

put in the blender

and set to high

As we spin we fly

I've got the bullet proof

handy tool

A to Z

Do Re Mi

Can't You See

You and Me

Get One Free

Let It Be

Hug A Tree

Magic Key

Shopping Spree

Lost at Sea

Come To Me

Injured Knee

Cup of Tea


to my destiny





Limits fall down

within limitless bounds

There are none

but your own

I have decided not to play by the rules




Chasing Peace in San Francisco


The sky was never so blue

before she walked through

I've got to find her

to say thank you


Steam rising from below the street

Bag Woman barefeet

trash travelling on the morning wind


I'll find her

it's the only way

mid morning taqueria

scents the day

Chinese & Irish speaking Spanish

at the Farmer's Market

her tracks are fresh

but she didn't stay

I follow her here from the mission

where we first met a year ago dawn

out to another realm

where the Earth is a tiny star in her night

she doesn't seem to be home

and though disappointed

it's all right

I decide to give up the chase

as if the universe is telling me

it's the cosmic will

but I know tonight

wherever she is

she sleeps

perfectly still





Where was it

   I cried the most?

In that building where I was a stranger?

Was it there I met you





So Sweet

So sweet the kiss

so soft the flesh

so unhindered is youth

so naive...

red braid around my ankle

peace sign earring in my ear

holy jeans

and barely 5 dollars in my pocket

running on half baked microwaveable burritos

other people's cigarettes

and a lotta luck...

These are the symbols of connection with my friends

symbols of my generation and my age

an age slowing filling with


I somehow feel it rushing by

Will I ever be able to laugh this hard again?

Will I ever be able to love so purely again?

Will I ever know freindship of this kind again?

The taste of the first time

must be different than the taste of time and again.




How Naked Can You Get?

Standing Cold and wet

Consumed by remorse, regret

You are Jester, Poet, Dancer

But here

serious questions you must answer

faintly aware of watching eyes



muffling cries

an empty room

stripped and blank

no choice but to

pay your debt

How naked can you get.


The crowd then gathers

stones in hand

retribution they demand

sonic booms and tidal waves

can't match the surge

can't still the rage

that burn the ear

the soul they sear

they think the words

you'll never hear

they lash out

with their demons exposed

suddenly aware

they disappear

for fear

of being seen

without their hearts

hands still wet

How naked can you get.


Those that must play survival's game

without higher intent

lose humility

to embarrassment

While Whitman stood in

a quiet place

removed his mask

exposed his face

and sang outloud into the night

without his mask he gained his sight

unafraid of what was said

Appearing the same to all he met

How naked can you get.


You of blood and molecular glue

beneath the lid of judgement stew

might try and remove a thing or two

might try to see another view

might still discover humanity yet

how naked can you get?




Born in the ring

the crowd will sing

your hands the key

the world the prize

step out you lose

either way you die

so you choose to believe the lie

for the sake of the high

and fight

you fight

maybe survive...


darkness brings the big allure

a breed though lightless

still endures

hidden in shadows they slowly


unseen movements spin the globe


Born in the ring

you look up to see

the naked truth in a three peice suit

jump from the window

and while plunging down

begins to cry

regrets the dive

then splat on the pavement for all to see

you vow to fight

maybe survive.




Put your hand on the spot

where you have always been told not to

there are answers there

may I put my hand there too?

I long to remove these coverings

remove our disillusions

remove 16 years of public education

remove the dust of history

remove the influence of mom and dad

thus setting all games and strategies aside

free from encumbrances

let us lay together honestly

Look into my eyes, man child human inconsistency that I am

I am not ashamed

I've found that I can give everything without feeling loss

so I am seeking warmth without strings

pleasure without afterthought

a moment of truth in the present

I'd like to find the universe in the scent of your hair

have a four course meal on the table of your being

peach juice running down my chin

I'd like to grin


I'd like to laugh outloud

laugh so hard the neighbors complain

and then sing

maybe go back for more

the second time is when the limits are pushed

I'd like to be seduced

then reduced

to a simple sentient being

I'd like you to scream and shout

let it all out

without fear of judgement

I'd like to throw open the doors and run through the field

no thoughts of tomorrow, no worries or insecurities

no deadlines or excuses

Then I'd like to sleep,

maybe dream.



No Change

Things don't change they go through changes

finite matter


un and re defining

re and un combining

Shifting shapes

and shaping shifts

in and out of motion drift

endless masks

both huge and small

one source

comprising all



No Borders

I gaze at you

you stare at me

victims of our physicality

but we fail to see

we connect to the ground

which touches the sea

which floats in the sky

the lines in our mind

there to define

the world we see

when in reality

we exist in a place

deeper than space

where there are no labels

we move to the motion

of the infinite ocean

and smile

without knowing it's a smile