Peter Chapman Poetry


it is hot today and not over

i've made a lunch
of olives, crackers,
sardines & cold beer

the beer is wonderful
and the olives, salty,
cured in oil, urge me to poetry

i've been learning how to live,
the lonely over the brave,
that sort of thing, going
back to the idea
i'm trying to get of stable

what to do with the girl on the phone
near the azaleas, the tattoo across her forehead
this defiant, unforced blaze

she said she wasn't stable when she did the interview
but if she'd been stable then got the job
and been unstable, she wouldn't have wanted that
so she didn't know, she said,
she didn't know

was she stoned?


on Kentucky Derby day the winning jock,
Chavez, said when he felt his horse
really rolling it was like going to the sky

the horse, Monarchos, showed
a sly impressiveness in the winner's circle,
crimping his forehead, discouraging praise

back in his stall, rubbed and full of fine grain,
the rich horse dialed a call, not so you'd know,
but his blood was up, Medusa