ROLES OF PROVOCATION Winded, I can barely raise my head. Grieving strains like gravity. I lean on my desk, keys twirling on one finger, slapping into my palm. The outer window previews carnival propulsion, the integrity of the Ferris Wheel distinct through a desert sky. Samaritans at a safe distance place 911 calls and side […]
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SUMMER AT 7,000 Summer gets me drunk because I don’t think; I jump in, head-first. It’s like the folklore of the 60s and 70s; simplified America, beyond recognition. Mark U. says that I am a conosuer of characters. Cluckasourus agrees. All I want is to change a life, all I need is a dopamine release, […]
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The boy wears only a pale green shirt,
no pants or shorts or shoes–a six-year-old,
fat stick in hand, squatting in the dirt.
He glances up as our convoy passes,
eyes dark and blank, and shifts his weight
to favor his left leg, ridges of scar
from ankle to hip twisted and shiny as plastic.
Yellow dust, kicked up by our truck
hangs in the air, thick and choking.
But the boy, face calm as a cat, just stares,
only his eyelids moving, up and down
up and down. Finally, he looks away and
raising his club, resumes his task,
This poem was originally published in Second Skin by Terry Hertzler (Caernarvon Press, 2003)
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I Spend Hours Killing Chickens
Not with my hands like mom
who swung the bird round
till the neck popped
My machine chops off the head
splatters blood every five seconds
fresh blood that tastes
salty & sweet
Pay is good
What disgusts me is the line chief
During break he tells me he knows
when a girl is on the rag
claims he smells her
says he dumped
cause she bled too much
He makes me want to
wash with lye
Thursday he follows me to the car
says he dreams about me
eats me in his sleep
I don’t tell him my dream
where the hook curls
through his neck
rips the vessels
as he swings closer to me
operating the blade
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In the Thick
In the thick
of our holy quarrel,
she leans in
the most important thing,
but is silent,
and I want to leave her
across the table
on her device,
but I knock over our old vase
spilling the violets,
and she looks at me
as if before they fell,
Find Peter online here.
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