Peter Case

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Days Cards of Prosetry, from a UK Tour.

I’m thinking about the butterflies, the money owed/ the time elapsed & the time to go/ anger in a face/ beetles and cellar mold/ big plans not quite/ big enough to launch/ a rocket or a row boat? pursued across the ice flow/ tortured with telephones/ threatened with lunch lawyers long distance calls/ why should I care?

In the end it seems like nothing is enough. I should live my life more recklessly. I admire the avalanche, good work. At night the hallway by the elevator is lined with ladies in wheelchairs, talking trash. ‘Are we on a boat?’ ‘When are we returning to Alaska?’ ‘Just walk me to the elevator, cousin, I won’t implicate you…’

‘Her old man’s in prison but he’s cool with it.’

What kind of questions do you ask on a day like this? What’s the message? I’m on a train, trying to stay awake. Green pastures, March winds, blue & cloudy skies, so far from home. Connections to make, retreat from engagement into head leaning? What town is this, anyway? ‘I have arrived, only to leave again in the morning.’

I need help & get it. Over & over I’d fall then fly then free all of mine. Over the tundras, the clandestine filaments, primrose, pecked in ordure. Galivant, supreme monochrome, devious & sprouting, troubled & wry, amid soft downpours & other silkings of the nude, the neomeyer, the closure of the Clancy’s modern, and spic & span as an old General.

Newcastle. My friend, I’m lonesome tonight in this cheap hotel, a room far from home, listening to the churchbells, counting their tones, bong, bong, bong, bong. The birds don’t know if it’s day or night. I wish I could sleep but ghosts do calisthenics by the bed. The previous tenant left his marks: used tea cups & towels, soap bar in the sink. There were only 20 at the show & nothing worked–like breaking into a house & playing in the living room.

Here it comes: ‘O Death pass me over for another year.’ A sick feeling in the bottom of my stomach,’where I live.’ Previous obsessions were a six week bout with moral paranoia. I feel dead already, the fear of cancer got me to the doctor in the first place. ‘Here it comes, hits me where I live & I’m dead already, lying in the dark, waiting for some sleep to come.’

It’s a good thing we ain’t on the ninety first floor–cupid’s cubicle & icebox free. Spent the morning casting gems at Shakespeare & walking green like a wayward child–I’m isolated in noise, distracted by the (no) drama–in love with nothing, that is, a vision of me, peaceful, strong and towering. Afraid of this, collecting tinctures & soft words to spread–this headache music for distracted lambs.

Connected in the weary ways & twisted too, like a country boy in trouble, but far & far, over Alamain trusted by deceitists, governed by blue clouds, and crushed in general by scotch work misdemeanors. Call me keen at sobbing, a spin merchant of my own gale, word mischief & battered by misconnects, in the wary weeze of simulacrum, soledad.

It’s been a week now of automatic doors, stale odours, trains & plains, skytoppers, faces in front & waters in back. Anxiety balances on a nail, the whole dark brick night set to topple & scream, collapsed to room size & a bare ceiling bulb, but I’m protected by the power of prayer, and by you, love.

The only thing I tried to steal was a picture of myself. Said goodbye to the countryside, also to the village, the town & the city, and heard NADA in reply. Feverish, thirsty. A bit anxious. Awaiting my beverage. No sign of green, no foretaste of April. And I’m in my Autumn? I’m looking forward to another Summer, fatal.



Hoops billyroved my targrave steed & nestled plump round a tingloss window. Weather incensed & multicoloured poured over the sheep coats, the headdown grazers & anxious swallows & squirrels. Up again & rested as the sun falls, the river rolls, time drips & drops, I’m myself & who else? Recuperation is daily, we’re all on a very short rope & it’s nailed to our hearts. Books are comfort. A warm, well lit lonely & carpeted room, between the beds, on the floor, the drawers are breathing, friendly, the bath a casket, sleep a death & now I’m reborn clean, on another highway.

I was nailed to a stick & lifted above the crowd, a clown among clowns, an inflateable fool, nose glowing like a painful red pepper & cheeks rouged- the orchestra played & I was forced to dance: no one fired bullets at my feet- the stage was simply heated & I jumped: the ceiling ripped open by a magic hook on a chain, which was passed through my solar plexus & I was lifted out, to the great relief of all.

In the movie Homeboy, Micky Rourke plays a washed up boxer, punch drunk, on the way down/ but everytime the going gets rough/ he smiles like a child, from the eyes/ an untroubled carefree look/ the crux of the film/ and from here on/ I smile too/ everytime the gloves come out or off/ anytime I’m scared/ whenever I get hit/ ’cause I’m not going down no more/ either.

No train line salve for the mendicant/ Britain. History of coughs. Tea work. In a tunnel, en masses. Chirps of the little men, trash coterie of distant loins, carpetbagged & beligerant. Same old ancient blue with corduroy earmuffs, news of the world & dream tissue. Years of this. No destination, only destinations. This years rubbish & trying ‘to make something of value as you go along.’ I’m wind last, unpaupered, ticketed, shoed, hatted. Vain glorius.

I can’t find my way & it makes me feel ashamed. You’re following me & I’m lost. RED CHORDS unplayed. Champagne melodies unsonged. Dead in the joints/ slow as stone scared as critters, a sick sad feeling like I want to quit, because I can’t tell you nothin’. It’s blowing like crazy, the trees are bent, & that’s my name, my game is laid out & pinned down. I’m shot.

Nerves of steel, they set up a smudge on the prettiest block of green. Black towers & clouds over the trees, at the end of the fields. The people bore up like pack rats, moved down to the seaside, inebriated on cheap twaddle & bowl foam, gargling fine wines. Nels poured his pants full of nuclear steam/ history erected itself/ and there were horses at the ends, taxis beyond, and a fool prince.

5am the highway noise won’t stop ’til the cities on fire. The ticking, every clock set to go off someday. One at a time. The days squeeze away & wiggle slippery. Wriggling with the savage strength of beasts: manta rays, snakes, or moose in the high beams. O Cambria what joyful nights of immigrants, O LA, what sorrows out of doors? O beach towns, what sun dried ignorance what water logged bleaknesses? O body what depths?

Sponge baths & oxygen tanks almost bear the wisdom & a team cheer in the rain, Methodist/ trance fingertip mythology. Brutal weighting of claustrophbia. Beatrice of the party flight, supper & sculked like a dagweed toon, prefigured, gloom ridden, pushed, trimmed by wing sliders & called to Boston, Santa Domingo, & points South.

Eyes like Cleopatra, arms of the Sphinx. Arms like Cleopatra, miles like Muhammed. Diamond sand cast like cannons on a drab civil door, I’m frayed, it’s been too long, please don’t make me suffer he said, but the boxers eyes & kindnesses of the flight control set me free, a little dog at 31, 000 feet, walking like Curly in the tomb.

They’re turning the heat up under me again/ but I’m no junkie/ no drunk/ I pay as many of my bills as I can/ sure, I work on the road/ take care of a sick Mother too/ but I’m just tryin’ to make my way/ nobody’s gon’ take care of me/ except you, Biggie.

Many the little sheepy-sheeps gazing contentedly on the sunlit fields, & the North Sea, grey & white capped & rolling off the end of the rolling hills. We could live here & be satisfied ourselves, in love, with what’s left of each other and the world, as the sky blue clouds gather for a sea voyage. Dark lights on the water, & way out yonder a craft we wouldn’t betray & we’d live in our dreams, giant.

The little things people say like ‘yr mushrooms have sprung,’ ‘tedium is in the eyes of the beheader,’ ‘cut the wigwam,’ driving me outwards. ‘Cliffwork climbers tremble at barroom srategy, catacombs are a mans best fad’ ‘struggle on yr own, crash awake,’ ‘Giggle to yourself, rawhide,’ all the while doors swing wide, trucks flap, calls meander like richman on Sunday, & the chorus unwinds & let’s you have it on the nose. The mouth of eyes. The chin of suffrage. The knees of travel. The final minutes of light.

The atmosphere was all salt. I sang about myself as sailors, doctors, and other adventurers nodded, filled, spilled and shot. Girls held the floor between immaculate teeth, spinning talismans of perceptible doubt. Salinas parted like a politician’s haircut & the night thrilled on. Now I’m sleeping, deeply removed, pounding on the ceilings of heartbrake culled from a poison romance, valentined & loaded, true.


  1. “O Cambria what joyful nights of immigrants, O LA, what sorrows out of doors? O beach towns, what sun dried ignorance what water logged bleaknesses? O body what depths?”

    I’ve been trying to form a comment but there are no words willing to come forth in the face of the ones you’ve given us. Thank you for sharing.

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