Andrew K. Peterson

You’ll Know When You Get There

what does the journey teach
the question of
what does satori shroud
the question of

what did i forget to pack
the question of

                                                universal consciousness
                                a loud fart inna breadbasket
                                                                bigger than
                                                                a breadbasket

space between whoever they are, wherever
they need to go       and who they do go with
the worm moon bells make sad watchers sew
dog-eyed corsages to dance partners’ wrists
mid-hoedown    while puddles ring doseydows 

the price tag strung to a stringless harp
melodies                 still lift                  in silent offering
there’s no question of that :: the melodies
still lift         no question of 
LOKA                 realm   or abode 

Poem for a Disappearing Roommate 
for Nathan Child  

The mad old monk has abandoned 
Your star that looks like a poker game
One prong on its lock turns white 
Lone rock on the lawn boo forever
You’re so beautiful it’s starting to rain 
in the Appalachians, we plant a champion
living tomb, in the soon green ground
The sum, for mouths, of these wishes

You don’t need to see anything out 
to seek anything out of the ordinary. 
Today is not an attempt at misrepresentation. 
Anchors must still be built with skill. 
Nobody just doing things where they’re going
who knows they’re not where they are. 
Mountains belong to people who love them. 
That you’ve succeeded in putting them there.

Here’s to embarrassment even lonelier than snow 
When dawn dawns on me and on
dreams of the ottoman cloud empire’s incline
should I call today loneliness, lucidity or
black roses for a blue lady fancy pants
The word I forgot just now – yes 
With joist the truth of endless articulation
Knocked back to the zipper of the shadows

if you try fighting magic with logic 
a beautiful thing spreads beauty all around 
if you risk facing your captors alone
a friend comes over to the house,
if you think a page’s the disguise
a mountain is banjo muscle, nothing but
oceans beyond us the distance you imagine
if you decide it’s too risky, turn 

from the bridge which is seldom free.
leaves, all the dirt in the furrows,
the river of song: seek them for 
the question. Still with some unforeseeable break
in the frost of the last chrysanthemum 
for its own sake, for going on 
a suit put down to the ground, 
a favor for which to be forever


a costume swirls
kittens yawn and attack
cinema dipped tide
scheming with city heat

hinged    sores moan    
smoked amber + black fig
across this winter skid
              wisp erred 
an as yet not 
co-authored   milk    asleep on
achromatic knife

star-encrusted shell
                               slow gull  

Gold in Skeleton

chord orchid
‘s lone skid
in orchard cherried
suffers of thought – 
                o curl
                my yurt for
                a honeycomb  
                intuit – 

a force devoured 
meat of cold rain
struggling the rippled-
out lightning twist
                along the mystic 
in 6/8 time    steeps

what i forget 
moves the sun 
above your hospice
gives through 
snow’s skylight melt 
its grace, grace
i thank to know 
thank the thanks 
the goodbyes 
the have-been-knowns

Never Be Royals

The road from Providence is lit with many perils
Bouncing oceans, burning from new moons
Old stars mixing with snow and indiscreet
Leaning, my faulty debutante flair, pale and fault-
Less loose roost and more abandoned rope
Of the snake lady, her diamonds bright fires
In marshmallow clover    bustling fancy 
Free among trifles    reefs    glistening 
Riffs Lou Reed Stole      i.e. The Black Angel’s Death Song
From Getz and Gilberto Vivo Sohando
Countering faults with offerings 
The road to Providence is lit with petty morals
At the limit    this too timid limb    Priestess 
Who knows no compromise, the skull and rose
Are equals, line august roads along these low low lands


“I had a thought that I could change” – Doug + Jean Carn

Ok here comes grief
winter, the metaphor,
fails   , egg-hued
mulberry and brown

Winter, the distant bodied
wolf’s claw blue
displaced, fails 
 & did feel regret, 
                & did burn 
sweetgrass, salt sage 
As an asking

The birch shell upfalling 
through cloud-sheaths 
welled upon the rainblown sea

Cutting through attachments 
a whirlwind’s impossible hymn – 

The silence inside me  
is named                Unfolds  
from a wreathed galaxy   
poppied to the take : 

                               kelp ring
in the teeth of a rose-bladed rudder

Andrew K. Peterson is the author of three full-length poetry collections, most recently Anonymous Bouquet (Spuyten Duyvil, 2015). His 2017 chapbook The Big Game Is Every Night was mailed to the White House alongside other publications from Moria Books’ politically-based Locofo Chaps series as collective gesture against the current administration. He edits the online lit journal summer stock, and lives in Boston.
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