Patric Pepper


Ah, love, I looked at the sex-pot peppers
      and could not but conclude that all is God's
Dream. O, civilized church bells peeling
      and reeling up and down 16th Street NW,
Forgive me this day for this little bit of blasphemy,
      as I am deserving, yea verily,
For I have loved God and I have hated God,
      and I have praised God and I have
Cursed God, and I have been God's fool
      and God's sage with all my heart and all
My mind consistently and inconsistently
      in unity and in apparent duality, yea verily.

Hey you, my partner with the desultory vivid chard
      poking up through the unzipped
Opening of your knapsack, put the groceries
      in the sleeping fridge, that mysterious
Inanimate and somehow animate machine
      with all its pipes and gears and dreams and
Its dark dreamy white coldness our civilization is
      so grateful for, and its little motor
Forever humming the hymn of creation I
      mostly forget to hear, so hungry I have been,
But, after all, and then again, of course,
      who knows and who can say / Whence . . . .

Dear wife, may I unbutton your blouse? Unzip
      your jeans? The chard sleeps in the fridge.
For you, especially, are the dream of God,
      yea verily, let us be a good dream for God.


Doodling down the tatternated map of Pennsylvania,
down U.S. 220 and Bald Eagle Mountain, past Tyrone,
Through Altoona, on to Bedford, over the dashed line to
Cumberland and into West Virginia,
The Dodge Neon and I drifted like a memory of
Grandma Moses, while the Cubist
Brain and I ran it all over again and again because
our quaintelicious 21st century visions were like

The spectacle of roadkill, albeit maybe not so bloody:
First, while the actual Appalachians waited
Like a North American Gaia Mama for the Night Sky to
descend in intercourse,
We noticed how pointlessly Pointillistic appeared
the accidents of Cumberland architecture, even
As the yards of discombobulated ramshackletude were
the essence of Concrete Expressionism; and how

Shaker-pure shone the Neo-Classic steeples in the valleys,
sometimes like Mother,
Sometimes like Jehovah; and here the brain would have me
mention how Bentonesque were the manly farms
Plowing and flowing and growing our girls—casting our buteefull
babes—into young women, and our young
Women into soldiers to defend our just causes.
Like a memory of an old home place, we three scribbled

Past a renaissance of surely Colorist yard sales and a whitewash
sign, "Bewhere the Dawg ☺"—I peered on and
The Neon rolled and the brain imagined our return to the cottage
by the pond, near the sea, off the map, to you.


I saw them hug once, beneath the bridge,
In August, two men kiss in their embrace,
Each hold the charm of love against the law,
In would-be secrecy, maybe in shame,

Maybe never having told a parent,
And though it's romantic, though I'm naive,
It buoys me to believe that love saved them.
And though love didn't at the end of ends,

Certainly salvation rose around them
Then; think of a crucible and furnace,
Where all that is is fire, metal, slag—
Slag ladled off leaving purities.

I watched them, secretly, two men embrace
In eternity, underneath that bridge.

Patric Pepper lives in Washington, D.C. He published a chapbook in 2000, Zoned Industrial, and a full length collection in 2005, Temporary Apprehensions, which was a 2004 co-winner of the Washington Writers' Publishing House Poetry Prize. His work is forthcoming, or has appeared recently, in Confrontation Magazine, Plainsongs, and Asbestos. He is currently President and Managing Editor of Washington Writers' Publishing House.



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