Peter Streckfus

Issue 12 • March 2014



Shadows from branches stirring—the evening sun shoots sharply through the leaves and window forming hundreds of camera obscuras, projecting, like a super-eight reel, on the wall.

The shadowed world.

Shadowing forth.


When I declared myself a poet, you handed me the pages of your book to finish and make public.

Shadows of bodies on bodies in a tank, all their erstwhile privations and wonderings.

Like souls, arms removed, replaced by silver fans, legs with plastic fins.


Rabbits and wolves and birds.

My only memory of you running, I am learning hide and seek.

A dash between the wooden bench you made for us and the banana tree in the corner of the yard, we run beside each other.


In the allegory of the cave the physical world is formed of shadow and echo.

Shadow figure: a man’s mouth and brow, indicating fright.

Grizzled, painting your epic in naïve images on cardboard.


Dinner, cabbage and rice.

Peaches for dessert, Inka—dominoes, counting fives, and the card game gin.

On Thursdays, we’d watch Reitz’s Heimat.


Come now, let us descend and hold converse with them.

Two bodies, two signs, for one voice.

Plato argues such a voice, because it exists as two, unchanging, is a dead voice.


Heather Green


We were speaking of marsupial evolution.

Your head turned slightly away, you studied the touch screen.

It rained outside—drops struck the window, and, inches beyond, the berries of the beautybush shook under the rain.


I could not hear the rain striking the leaves, but I could hear the rain—you looked up from the screen to the window, and we viewed the rain together.

Light through the screen of rain brushed your ear, the folds and bridges of our love.

Summer rain.


In Benigni’s film, you dream your love marsupial.

Why evolution, our text, the clock, and its placements.

From the light’s lips to your ear—brief scrim of hair that coats the skin of ear.


Pocket into which I trust this my soul, shaking in the rain—

Pocket of silk, aquiver—

All poems are about time.


Earth and Water


Shape a small mouth, the size of a coin, on the other bank.

Around the mouth trace the features and body of a small person.

“Yes, this one has fruit,” said another who looked above and discerned a fruit the color and texture of a lemon.


We then noticed in the branches more such fruit, elongated and yellow, shaped almost as if each held inside it a human form, some as full as grown persons.

It was important that we not rouse them as they slept.

In their waxed canvas and tweed, as if kings, they hunted highland fowl.


The spirits taught their dogs to gather discs.

Little canals running all over.

And we were constantly falling into them in the darkness and drowning.


All of this to produce a childhood.

You my young thing, you shaped like a mouse, like an ear.

A rosy blush on the lobe.


Be born by three right here.