Allan Peterson: Three Poems

Wrong Division                                      
Prolate is oblate on its side after a hard day
of arcane political geometries 
I can visualize the planet but cannot 
see how to solve equations of loss
Some cancel humanity from foreign policy
but I was never good at that 
I always remember in their calculations 
the numerator was always divided by the detonator 


They were all witnesses  They had eyes  They all saw it 
and all agreed wheels because they knew wheels and yes 
something of it turned on itself  Like an island it was said
and yes isolated certainly and fogged over  Well something like fog 
an indistinctness and a rushing like a train  If not train then fire  
that whooshing of outside air drawn to it  Some said it entered
from the right some said left some like pop pop pop 

Every poem an opportunity to say more than expected
like night is day with the sound turned down
assisted by a certain obscurity and no that is not heaven
that is the original emptiness characteristic of wishes
the origin of cycles so slow we deny change
in dismissive sentences because we expected stability
Imagine our surprise 


A visual artist and poet, Allan Peterson’s most recent book is This Luminous, New and Selected Poems, a finalist for the Oregon Book Award.  Other titles include Precarious; All the Lavish in Common (Juniper Prize); and Fragile Acts, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. 

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