DEDICATIONS, PLEDGES, COMMITMENTS. For the past. For my own path. For surprises. For mistakes that worked so well. For tomorrow if I'm there. For the next real thing. Then for carrying it all through whatever is necessary. For following the little god who speaks only to me. --William Stafford

Friday, October 05, 2007

Swinging Gate

My lover is a dancing bear
Who begs upon his chain.
My husband is a china bull,
All fists and horns, but tame.

My lover plays on zither-strings,
My husband tends the sheep,
And I will lie with each one while
The other is asleep.

My lover is a unicorn
Who leaves me with a baby
My husband thinks is his, and so,
And so it is, well, maybe.

The child has one clean blue eye
Bright as a willow plate.
The other eye is brown as earth
Beneath my swinging gate.

And when my bishop asks the truth
(My innocence cold dead),
I'll tell him naught but this, "Insooth,
I'd rather lie, in bed.


Friday, April 13, 2007



We come whirling down
like lopsided angels, each of us
a riddle on the family tree.

All our Sunday faces
are strangers to a mother
who cannot remember

the hour of our singular births.
I know we must not show her
how many hearts beat under our ribs

or she will wrinkle
and burn away.
Your computer cannot integrate

our baby parts
with its thin blue lines
or its darting cursor

sewing all night
with a long string from belly to mouth.
Each of me is a basket

filled with bedsheets
& bone flakes
& inkwells.


She is three-in-one
A sort of trinity
Observe the three of her
That live here sometime
Sprouting like mushrooms
From a damp cave floor
Innocuous most of them
Most of the time

Fleshy umbrellas
Wild or edible or deadly
These are the two
She calls sister
Thrusting the silver rootlets
Of their lives
Into her body
She would gather them
With her fingers
Long knives
A harvest to be canned
Frozen or dried
Or squeeze them until they burst
Like puffs of smoke

The three of her
Feels everything
Pick one
Eat her with meat
While she is fresh
Before her babies come

She thinks she is real
Steps among the luscious caps
Carefully not to crush
The wild flesh of her
The edible flesh
The poisonous flesh

What are they doing for lunch
Stuff the three of her
Into your brown bag
Tell her to fuck off
Swallow her cold


Janus had but two heads
For God's sake

And I have three--
One wood, one salt, one fire
Making demands, giving orders

Fire tells wood how to die with grace:
Stretch out under my red hands
Spit out your black widows

Grow daisies.
Salt tells fire:

I will smother you with crystal hands
Stop your red mouth
Ears, throat and belly with my white rocks.

When I come down
One of us is left.
She is not me. She will dissolve

And leak out with my tears, sweat, and menses
She will not get old
She will never see our skulls.

photo (c)2002 Distinctly France


At 3:49 PM, bb said...

This is rather intriguing!

*What are they doing for lunch
Stuff the three of her
Into your brown bag
Tell her to fuck off
Swallow her cold*

It quite reminds me of Theodore Roethke.

At 11:29 PM, Dana said...

So I had to print this out so I could read it again. It is so fascinating. I love the imagery in it, its mystery.

At 6:54 AM, pepektheassassin said...

Thanks, people!

At 11:10 AM, AnnieElf said...

Hi Pepek. Pretty mushrooms. Makes me think of Fantasia. Did you take this picture?

So - I'm curious. Why did you think I was in Ireland? I'd love to be there but I'm just at home in good old California. **sigh**

At 1:43 PM, AnnieElf said...

Hi again. Got your explanation comment and that certainly explains it. I'm clueless about sitemeter so you are ahead of me. LOL Still wish I was in Ireland.

At 1:07 AM, chiefbiscuit said...

That's fantastic stuff there!

At 10:54 PM, RavenGrrl said...

I, too am printing this out for bedtime reading. Your poem has so many layers, depth, mystery. Your voice comes through loud and clear, too. I love your poems!

At 7:46 PM, Dana said...

So I've read this several times now, and I think it's damn brilliant.

At 9:50 PM, pepektheassassin said...

Thanks again. Nice to know you like it!

Site Meter

Thursday, March 15, 2007


In the mirror
she sees where a spider has crossed a web
and tied it, crossed and tied it again,
then, where the red half-shell of yesterday's
lobster fades and stiffens -- swimmerets, claws
and compound eyes on stalks forever pale
as oysters. It hangs in the old fishnet
dangling across the ceiling and walls
like a web, between fat rounds
of cork floats

and bits of abalone shell shining like
mother-of-pearl. She knows for killing
baited underwater traps are fine, but
razors are better, and vertical cuts more efficient
than horizontal. A dark red rain
diffuses in bathwater like pale pink smoke
curling about breasts, navel, thighs.
The last thing she sees:
steam rising from her bent knees
in the hot tub.

(Another Salvador Dali. Dali wrote of lobsters and telephones in his book, The Secret Life of Salvadore Dali.)


February Thaw

The sky is grey everywhere except toward the north. There the winter sun breaks like a wound, red as pyrocantha that grow wild beside the gate. Firethorns, we like to call them. The south wind blows warm for stripped February, starlings come and go, pushed leaflike up and down the steep sky--blustering black Furies. The raucous birds (drunk with berries) fill our Chinese Elm, its branches black and bare as upturned roots. We lean our bicycles, watch the sky clear, and dry ourselves of rain, kick off our shoes, forgiving the wet, the water, perfumed droplets, scattered pearls that gleam on hands and smiles like deep rose gems.

(prose poetry)


First, clear a workspace, make room. Maybe
before you have finished, you will have broken
the code. Have a seat. Pay attention.

Look out the window before you begin to count.
Take notes: the sky is liquid with falling water.
Find pathways on the glass. Begin.

100,000 light years illuminate the diameter
of the Milky Way. 1,000,000 kilometers equals
the diameter of the sun. Therefore:

in a universe full of personable gods,
or brutal gods, vengeful or vain and hungry gods,
only in our dreams can we imagine the 10,000 names

of just this 1 god. It has no bearing on the universe.
There are no rational or real numbers, maybe
there are more names than grains of sand--and every name

is precious. Write: YHWH. Write: El Shaddai
and Shiva, Ruach haQudesh (The Holy Spirit), and Brahma.
Allah alone has 999 names. There is no frozen spot

of light that remains anonymous. Try Abhir the Almighty.
Try Kadosh the Holy One, Shaphat the Judge. The list
grows long, and reads like a book of arcane Jewish poets,

a bounded set of geometric points that can be enclosed
within a box. When the sky clears we find that Pluto
is now called 134340--in a projectile motion of falling bodies

where t=Time and a=Acceleration to gravity. Maybe
God's 10,000 names are really a number, a googleplex of
numbers. Note: this is reputed to be the largest number

with a name, being a 1 followed by a google of 0's,
in a deleted neighborhood encountered in a study of limits.
Is the thunder an interval? Is the rain a set union?
Does each drop have a name?

(Okay, what am I saying here? I have no idea. This is all bulls**t, and I have NO mathematical understanding whatsoever....)

After the close woven touch,
Thorn and velvet tongue-tapping
Spindrift night,
After the firm dovetailing of nerves,
Gunner, crack-shot, shell and ball
Bridging the half-way halves--
(Taking the moon by the teeth)
The seeded flesh
Masters the inhaling womb.
Galleries of manshaped boys
Kicking a bellyful of heels,
Roll, grasp, leap toward the burst light,
Tear through thickets of bent bone
And drowned dark, crush and wane
In the cruel sweet and endless forever,
And empty in the capsized bed.
The salt and watery boys
Riding the shipwrecked waves

(An old poem, written when I was young and easy, and under the spell of Dylan Thomas.)


About Me

My photo
1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.