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Rod Peckman


The year Magic Johnson got aids I married a Frenchwoman. We have since divorced. I've been published in absolutely nothing. I am someone who once thought he could write. After sixteen years that supposition still lay fallow. With the "gift" of mania (see divorce), however, I didn't care and simply wrote. The mania now controlled—thank you Big Pharma—I throw my poems against the literary palazzo walls and see which ones stick. My dream for my poetry, at some point, is to discover what is outside, pick it up, run it through my hands—slimy, dirty, rough, or exquisitely smooth, it doesn't matter—and simply get over myself. And Magic Johnson is still alive (thank you Big Pharma)! 


Revolutions sometimes happen by accident
a hotshot with a Molotov cocktail
trying to impress his girl. Simple
gestures sometimes contain conflagrations. 

This revolt was an inside job.
Was it a mole in deep cover?
I couldn't tell you, as I couldn't even feel it
making tunnels through my head.

There are channels now, I imagine
highways intricately constructed
plowed with grotesque oversized hands and
sharp claws into what was once my immaculate brain.

I once could hold onto things
and my affect could be counted upon
to fall within that acceptable range.
I trust nothing now, a reign of terror —

let me eat cake is my final request.
Like the blind king, I am filthy, I am afraid
of water, I surrounded myself
with beautiful things, as the murderous

revolt foments inside of me. I cut
the heads off of everyone I ever loved
before placing my neck into the lunette.
I am still conscious as it falls into the basket.


A voice cuts sharp
we bleed all over ourselves
in the sound.

How did you hone
the voice of heart
to a sharp and fearful strength? 

Slice me in half
you hold me in pieces 
in bloody hands.

I am nothing
and I am all
in this opening

this dissection, this flaying
of flesh and desire
under your skilled knife

you cut me and I am free
your fearless heart
that speaks this austere truth

regardless of comfort and control.
A language that respects
its own weight.

A heart unafraid
of its own fearful voice
a language living in its own light.





copyright © Rod Peckman