Sunday, June 1, 2008

Peter Schwartz


a bachelor's death

I am human antique
living red-handed in the
house of winter.
these past few months have been eternal.
I've played wife to the lower part of my heart
and survived in stages:
tea, lunch, bed
I've spread myself like cold sheets over the
couch, table, chairs: because the
untouched, although hollow, is the
easiest form of survival
to swallow
I've dreamt of playgrounds and
graveyards in the same pale light; remembering
away the six year old me
right off the monkey bars
I've pushed a thousand words straight
through the face of my tombstone
then watched them shrink in fetid
puddles by the doghouse
I've dressed and undressed my needs
for summer, spring and fall all the while hoping
some woman might come bring me the tiny
transfusion of a kiss
but she's probably pacing the hallways
of her own haunted house somewhere
probably has bills and a diary
of her own to tend to
her own needs and children
to whisper away in the night.


confetti times

I am locked in the nobody factory
in cold anterooms, it's here the gradual blurs
the already heavily counterfeit
keeping tyrannized appointments with
my citizen past
this perpetual symposium
on what was meant by goodbye
loses its funeral physique
to the mere possibility of later's heart
attack phone call
flattery fails at my window, turned away
soured by the questionable clay involved
in the voodoo insides of my shoulder-length days
and ugly nights when the last animal candle
goes out
this is when the math, left-handed
paints crutches on the moon
when the mercenary silences
even these pinned-back crickets
I covet and pander to
and outlive
they say nothing they know
to cling is to butcher
the center of each experiment
where only the motives change
where sleep is a cheap key; turning over
without pushing in


epistle

every creature suffers some shade of intimacy
knowing the wilderness always was
the better friend, the one so willing
to share a two-man hat
this democracy of thought
shows no bibliography against
my face with odds inside
each feature, the very leather
of responsibility
sinking, seeping
a cold-blooded touchstone-
a featherbone too much
to touch again;
broken at the doorstep
of self-nostalgia
on some inexcusable sunday
of the heart
a mutant voyeur, watched
to death like old toxicology
worried what foreigners might do
to sublet his crowded partnership
from its soft garage of pretty
yet cruel with magic
at last willing to accept
its violent number
on your twisted little abacus.


goodbye valentine

ours is a serial love a breath away from fiction
the very last excuse
crucified beyond valleys
the daily ups and daisies
up, again
for height is owned at the expense of width
maybe more so in the mirror, thus
quicksand shatters the hourglass
of neanderthal nerves still fretting over
pretty things, pretty things....
for every effort has closets; its ringworms
its dead, its delilah
and all these radiant apologies that go bump in the night
they only freckle the darkness
blinking too fast to ever certify as stars
slammed instruments that rattle,
temporary instruments.
effect has little doctors that try in vain to sew the ice
to forget that details
smell like mothballs even as they're happening
as the incense of finality peters
results milk their rewards.
and cry beneath false carpets
petting their oblivions down;
my pretties, my pretties, my pretties
are ugly, but true.


the nowhere glow

I'm a six foot shadow
the death of rhyme
an idea in a raincoat worming through the nights
like gunshots
a sequel to the magic
a stretched immigrant
mispronouncing the needle
in an alley of the distant and lethal
an elaborate servant
playing chameleon by the garbage cans
till the lowest man on the totem pole
can truthfully be called king
I will be him, undone by less than nothing
a gutted actor fishing out his bones
to fashion xylophones to play the night out
one note at a time
an exile from the world
of the paper fed and puckered
an injured guest of the daily minarets
that form like juries over marrow
an untouchable bloodline
dying in the midst

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