width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses


Rod Peckman


Scrambled Eggs and Ketchup

My dad prepares dinner
for my brother and me
as Sam the cat sleeps
stretched out on his side,
Pepper the Chihuahua
moves back and forth
        under the table
        in that nervous way of his.

It's really not that bad
scrambled eggs and ketchup.
This, the last time my father picked up
after the mess that living 
leaves scattered around the room,
as mom would be away for awhile,
        he said, and this was
        the last of his being strong.

 2008 Rod Peckman


I had a story lost 
in the blackberry vines, 
the brambles that define definition
along the banks of my small stream.
I had shears and a need to clear 

space out for sun to expose hiding places
where murmurs find corners. 
Speaking a false green language that defies,
I defiled this space. I forgot where the heart
lies, under the bruised and browning vines. 

This contusion of sternum, narrowing 
of throat, verdant twinning calendars,
undermined shameless propagation 
beneath the moist soil. Followed by resolute dormancy, 
thorned spike hollowed reeds, ending sun 

fueled fecundity against my need for Summer 
sleep. I should give thanks but it hurts even under
leather gloves, it hurts to breathe these shallow 
breaths against this bruise and the narrow
funnel of throat.

 2008 Rod Peckman


Skin rubbed raw in patches
of devil's club. Bushwhacking
searchers on dispatch continue
to come up empty handed.
This love, my love, I fear a loss
of all senses. If I had a map
an underground newspaper
adds full of remembrances
and hints, a number station, 
a 2,8,8,5,1,7,14,3,11,7,1,
a disembodied woman's voice
full of meaningful nonsense,
I might slowly cipher the terse 
instructions. Maybe, just 
maybe. Sight. Touch. Smell.
Taste. The ability to hear
anything but my own wet
breath and the sound of ferns 
shedding rain. Anything 
to direct me towards better
obliteration. Forgetting. The joy
of simple nothingness. Perhaps union. 
The year of your dark eyes. 
The blessed smell of skin on skin. 
Sound of your pleasure. Soft taste 
of your breath in sleep. Sometimes 
despite what we both know so well, 
I still, for the life of me, still
look into windows of gray cars
I pass on drizzling mornings.
I smell you in wind. I touch
the vacuumed air for you. If I had
a map. If I had a simple guide. I
might find a rhythm of mourning.
Afternoon. Evening. Night. Your face 
in this wilderness I find myself.
A ghost. An afterimage or second sight.

 2008 Rod Peckman