you are in the diode archives winter 2011



On the perilous effects of buried alien spacecraft

They told me, fetch the jawbreaker

They told me, take down the wash

They told me, any day now, any day

They told me, one book?—as good as another

They told me, ’til someone loses an eye

They told me, gravity is deafening

Nancy, they told me, Nancy with the laughing face 

They told me, just flour water and sea salt

They told me sometimes a rave

They told me sometimes a dove

They told me, they told me

They told me, blow skyward

They told me, stars across the knife


Graceful ghost rag

After his death he frittered
His being in Bangor watching

Late-night TV.  At dusk he might
Drink ale or laze across a bench

At Fish Pier boning up on stars.
Once a week he was required

To contact the people whose lives
Had touched his chord.  He might

Leave a flea-bitten flyer
Under their windshield wiper—

Have you seen my lost cat?  Or
He’d email, inviting them

To loan princely sums to a prince.
Do you remember ascending, once,

And your elevator stopped but
No one got on or off?  That was him.

That was the one that got away.  


Peter Jay Shippy is the author of Thieves’ Latin (University of Iowa Press, 2003), Alphaville (BlazeVOX BOOKS, 2006) and How to Build the Ghost in Your Attic (Rose Metal Press, 2007).  He has published widely, including The American Poetry Review, The Boston Globe, Iowa Review,and Ploughshares.  Shippy teaches literature and writing at Emerson College in Boston.