Monday, March 19, 2012

The Addicts Excuse

I have walked you to your door and it is dark,
not dusk as in that brown drought summer
when you plucked a wood tick
from my hip and laughed,
rolling it like a swollen white bead
between your fingers before
snapping it with a quick red pop while
smiling with the left side of your mouth
under that needle embroidering new stars.
I never asked any questions then
and the oracle in your eyes spoke
in deep ocean tides that threw out golden
rings of foam, so the yellow dropping sun
would go down smooth
like a shot of liquor poured
between your lips first
then mine.
And it made death

But tonight I pull the blue throat of my coat tight
above the hard stone under my tongue.
I do not try to smile
as you pass into the warm light
of your living room
turning to me and the dark 
with that same grin
as if you
had just plucked me
from below the chestnut line
at the nape or your neck,
and were rolling my empty head
between your fingers,

giving it a playful squeeze
before you gently shut
the scratched
white door.

Christopher Celestina

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Some Beach

Is there, deep in your mind/heart
the rhythm of the waves
so low and slow
its more felt
than heard.

Some Beech
Is there within you as well
It's leaves held tight
Through darkest, coldest winter's night
To shelter that one thrush
Who overwinters to be the first
Song to herald the spring.

Some bitch
Who licks and suckles her pups
Whose sweetmilk breath could soften
The most cold hearted warrior criminal
Lives in your breast as well

As climate change
Covers the beach beneath the waves
And kills the trees with wild swings
Of rain ,heat and cold
That bitch will give voice to sounds
Would cow a Rebel or a Banshee
Before she rips your heart in two.

Peter Peteet


Well then, 

Must be answer enough.
No address, or redress just
A thing of varied length
and tension.
Energy stored up and pushing, 

waiting without patience, without a clock or time.
Spring is and thinks not of what was or will,
could be,
but it is not me.

For I ,yes I -that is the not everything, the not you,
not blossoms or remembered love or half forgotten dreams,
not stories told or names come loose from bodies
burned and scattered in the wind.
This I, much like any eye
is moving while constricting or relaxing
seeking unless dead or drugged;
moving even in sleep, in dreams,
to drink in light
just enough
to engage the world, admit your gaze,
and not be consumed

When death, that rhythmic lover of us all
I will no virgin be.
Just as a spring is born in heat and has compressions and extensions numbered
but unknown.
So is the Iris of my eye,
sprung from a bulb within my chest,
A thing of springs.
And so perhaps even from that rhythmic lover
I will rise

Peter Peteet

Peter Peteet is 54 years old and lives in Atlanta,Ga.His poetry has been published in Flycatcher.

Mucho Trabajo (Too Much Work)

     Every time I pull up on his arms, his ass sinks deeper to the ground. I say, “Push. Bobby. mas rapido,”  I tell him, “I’m doing all the work here.”  
     Bobby has an ankle tucked under each arm pit, but he’s too short, too weak to lift coach’s ass off the lawn. Keys fall out, jingle on the sidewalk, and for some reason I think about my father getting home, the way he throws his keys on an end table like they’re not a ring of janitor’s keys, but the weight of the world that has lifted and now we can finally eat dinner. I look at Bobby.
     I whisper loud as I can. I tell him, “ stop ” We both let go and I can hear bobby’s low blubbering. His eyes shine and he whimpers like a small animal. A sprinkler chatters like a machine gun over near the baseball field. The sun is down and the School Grounds are empty. “Man up.” I tell him.
     “Coach.” he says. “we’ve killed coach.”
     “Get over it.” I say, “ Coach is gone. We got to get rid of this body..”
     “But, shouldn’t we just call somebody? If we told the cops what happened?”
     “Forget it man. It’s coach and your just some skinny wet-back. What are the cops gonna do?”  
     “Nicho,” he says, “Nicho” he  calls my name, and I think I hear my mother’s voice waking me up. I can smell green chilis; they’ve been simmering.  I taste her tortillas, just a little burnt, the way I like it, and my stomach makes a noise louder than the keys. I look around, but nobody’s there.
     “Let’s try rolling him.” I tell Bobby, then I pick up the keys and we start rolling coach’s dead body to the cafeteria. 
     Bobby pops the window. We get coaches body inside. I know there is nobody here. The cooks clean this place and leave early. Enrique is still cleaning the girls locker. I know his routine; there’s time. It’s just me, bobby and coach. A small light on the dish washer guides us through the heavy pots and the stacks of plastic trays. It’s still warm near the machine, The steel sink sparkles and smells like bleach. 
     “Be careful man. Don’t knock anything over.” I tell him.
     “Now what?” Bobby says and I can smell his sweat.
     “The knives are over there.”  I point him to the cutlery. “Get me a big serrated one.”  He bumps into a empty stock pot, A deep gong vibrates through the kitchen and into the empty lunch room; my heart stops.
     Bobby’s eyes go wide. He grabs a knife. We wait for footsteps. Nothing happens. Then, he looks relieved and asks me how I know so much about this place.
     “I work here,”  I tell him. I think about how long we’ve known each other, but he doesn’t know shit about who I am; how I work lunch while he’s clowning at the pic-nic tables.  
     Bobby hands me a bread knife. “bigger.” I tell him. “There’s a carving knife in that rack near the ovens.” 
     He hands me the knife.
     I get the scullery aprons, the plastic caps and yellow gloves. The cap crinkles then smoothes as I stretch it on. We don’t talk, and you can just hear the knife sawing through bone.” Hold on to his arm.” I tell him.
     He throws up
     “Pull tight, so I can work the knife in.” I tell him.
     “This is fucked up.”
     “Yeah right.” I agree,  “like we have a choice?  Like what happened didn’t happen and I am not holding Coach’s arm.”
     The same arm that grabbed Bobby, and Bobby’s mouth was pushed into the metal so hard that his screams sounded hollow and tin. When I first heard it, I thought some kid was stuck in a locker. I figured that I was just going to break up some foolish prank. Then I rounded the corner and saw coach with his pants down and bobby bent into the locker and shit just happened.

     ‘It isn’t what you think.” coach said.
     I didn’t say anything. He pulled his pants up and turned towards me. I heard keys jingle, and loose change. I saw that big arm, and his hand. Then, I felt the heft of those books: the biology and chemistry I had been so hopefully struggling through; they now felt heavy and dangerous. My back pack swung and coach was tumbling and there was a flicker at the end of bobby’s hand like a needle. like he was sewing something into coach’s shirt, but it was a small knife and I wanted to stop it, but when I grabbed bobby’s hand it trembled empty, and the knife was now in my hand and coach’s face  was close and open; not pain, but wide and silent like he couldn’t believe that everything could pass so easily away. 
     There is just the three of us in scullery now -- Bobby, me and the dead guy.
     I put coach’s arm in the garbage disposal. His hand is sticking out of the sink like a drowning man. I flip the switch and the hand turns slowly as it sinks into the machine. “I’ve cleaned up worse.” I lie. But it is true that I have made things disappear.
     “What if they find out?” Bobby asks me.
     I can feel the keys poking . They’re heavy and my pants feel different with their weight.
     “No body. No crime.” I tell him, “There’s a mop and bucket in the janitor’s closet. The bleach is underneath the stairs.”

Armando Stiletto