the poetry that matters

Peter Marra

Peter Marra is from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He lived in the East Village, New York from 1979-1987 at the height of the punk–no wave rebellion. He has either been published in or has work forthcoming in Caper Literary Journal,  amphibi.us, Yes Poetry, Maintenant 4 & 5, Beatnik, Crash, Danse Macabre, Clutching At Straws, O Sweet Flowery Roses, Breadcrumb Scabs, Mad Swirl, Carcinogenic and Calliope Nerve among others. An interview with Peter was published 8/30/11 in Yes, Poetry. He is currently working on his first collection of poems.

Screenplay for Flaming Passion

Road covered in glass
Topped with white and black nails
Two figures  

He: black suit 
She: white torn dress
sprocket noise
each tired figure at opposite ends of the road

medium shot from the back
through her legs slowly

want to sleep
slowly tilt backwards

straight now they walk towards each other
pan: as he laughs

special effects: crushing faces. faces screaming under her feet
reflected in the glass

parents ground into dirt by his feet
as they watch her dress removed
because of the blood stains
their eyes wide no whites

“erase !”
hands outreach
fingers broken by

salty fever taste
squiggly things in the


point fingers

think about what happened:
(“when i was a child i let the turtles die.”)

Cover Girl September 1972


the escape hypothesis

long legs.
high heels.
substances not listed in the material medica.
dressed in nylon, shaped by blackness,
she’s tingling and craving and the fire storm
starts to tilt into a mind storm.

Setup: wearing an albino’s dress and
black high heels: a shiny patent leather dose,
she walks away and the shadow people
want to climb inside the aroma left behind.

(knives and eyes: she thinks
about these things).
she walks away with disdain on her shoulders.
they wait while she combs her pubic hair
slowly pulling through a void of sound
while she fucks all the time as a
a frenzy to assassinate the audience.

it’s done.

the day explodes, nerves wither.
she’s here for a self-assembly.

it’s over.
tire sounds (a screech)
cling-clang of the animated.
black gauze between walls. sounds. here.
make them go.
they keep coming.

naked phantom hands tear
the bandages that cling  

as they lick her wounds.
glass cracks.
sobbing softly outside the cells.

(by penis and
penis was fire)

she yens for the Nile divine
to want and to fire
and to infect movies on purpose.

there is another divine version  
in their marshlands
(convinced by the experiments).

a divine nighttime contains
the powers that killed  

she bore her children jealously
a goddess to conceive in magic

there was a killing in the marshlands
a victim was resurrected divine and impregnated
for a mild infection.


tongue calculations

tell me where you’ve been.
idle questions:
(holding her sides and counting slowly)

she stammered:

“2 men sit at a black table
black gauze screens delineate,

accomplishing little (just a separation).
furred winged creatures hide behind the scenery
watching to find an escape -
a slight tremor
stimulates the sex organs.
2 figures dozing from age
removing plaster from under their fingernails
comparing results so jealous
of each other’s discoveries.

looking up
it’s shown:
the ceiling moves slightly a reverse circular
clockwise counter clockwise

slow trickles dampened their brows
already etched and sewn back together
the surgeon just left and won’t be returning
the words were recited.

then i arrived - black
-light a go-go shimmy
black velvet slinky
their eyes fluttered i saw the
pained corneas as the eyeballs rolled backwards
cold light trance from luminol fears – it’s here.
epileptic love guided by guilt.

- all i have to say.”

she alighted
on the ledge

saw her prey
and dove down

landed gently and whispered carefully.
(not to make a mistake)

watch her wiggle

follow the seam
up the leg and

touch what fear
is like for the stenographer.

insert the throbbing real
suspended between 2 lone figures
the ones seated at a black table
encased in flaming black gauze
did she enjoy it?
a slow slide down
certainly ordinary
silently enjoyed with a short scream
in between occasional spasms

in between
legs clad  
in smooth black stockings.
her yellowed nails
hidden underneath black lacquer:

slightly & lightly
caress the atmosphere.
her back sweaty from the projected images
caressing her flesh

her moist words crept
into the ears of the figures.

then ricocheted. a transition from
to a color flash
then again to a b&w razor thin
thought of regret, slicing

from ear to ear.
back to mono.


a trigger of emotional responses

the time is never exact as
she carries sin with a cigarette
for black pleasure burns.

silent desire between the walls.
sinewy taught frame
shielded in sweat.
smiling always
grasping continuously.
lying occasionally about want.

her desires cause her to whimper
as she sits in the vacant structure.
a disease that never abates.
sounds that never lessen
in the vacant house .

grey wisps
seasick thoughts
stomach speed slam.
a quaking

about the life that was promised in the TV ads:
sterile kitchens
baked under sunshine.
children snacking.
joyful boxed cereals.
loving cartoons
to take you away to bed and
a sound sleep.

nothing to do as she places her
hands on her legs. hands
disembodied. they cling tight
to quivering nylon legs

as she watches
television aggressively.

her white hair and
fresh skin both damp
while she crushes a 100 watt bulb in each palm.
the music stops and crescendo doesn’t.

(“America will turn in on itself:
parasites in a white shut down -
drugstores out of stock”)

spine eaten
by silence perforated. eaten
by mouth immobilized.
spores in place of aspirations.

she laughed because:
she was living encased in plastic
she was numb and never caring.
(something that she had constructed herself)

she kneeled before the
black & white and licked the cool screen.
(a projection she completed herself)

reveling in an
odor reminiscent of
flowers and turpentine.
one follows another.

probes for
contraction penetration
produces the vastness of the empty space
one follows another. An absence of color.

a fetish ritual fall down
as the organism starts
what it can’t finish:



insane bible scientists
a scream
slashes of light in the corner

undeciphered figurines
patting her moist brow

too cold

electric fans rotate
a door of silence
a fear of noise

dervishes take her away from me


the sting of losing
an identity kept
me fairly lucid
while she fought against  
and bit at  
and chewed at black air
and at life in a cubicle

route that is
a bible science for
celluloid sins
plastic forgiveness

an insane scientist
grins spastically
as the tarantulas
cascaded from heaven
never found their way back home

a blessing

she tastes what gives and takes  
quickly / easily

of a coma
she smiles
she smiles

a bed saturated with her liquids
from the fever

she hears the machine vibe
can't run from it
and she gets it

a most seductive predicament

they lick the patina
that has formed on her

a rush
as they

a chemical bliss

waiting for the institute
to create more victims

she sleeps for now behind the black window
while she stares out the adjacent red window that she hates



Juice / Bathe / Crawl

brutal winds
introduce her body
with a metallic spring
rewound  tightly
so she can snap.
membrane lined peepshow
lavish noise
watch the silence / watch a vacuum scream
moist velvet reddish. dimly
light bulbs sputter filling up with fluid
holiday neon lights thrown on a pyre
sought and sighted
ignoring the sounds
from the people next door - some

A sightless moth
patiently exits through a slit in glass
transfer to you
transfer to her
the rorschach birthmarks
that she licked in the alley
reminiscent of disinfectant reveries

the live girls
smile because they know
they can’t leave.

trace a cross on her forehead
a jack hammer dance she hates it so
spikes nailed in sideways.
slow. slow. slowly.
she hesitates consumed by a
longing for
french television:
craving whispers from françoise hardy
(leather jacket and guitar)
the signals flutter
a test pattern

“oh, max—darling,”
preaching to the mongrels and the psycho-kats

“certain chemicals are useful
(to the new generation)”

she loves to pose
slowly creating shapes
slightly painful
slightly pleasing
slowly up against the wall.
a pop.
resistance as i cloak disease
shielded from
the side effects.
tissues can refresh themselves
find a nerve
guide to fading from the shadows

she rotated enough to activate the pain mechanism
that was lying between her legs
and the lips razor sharp
and deep,
squeezing, and dull

 “that’s the way - -
it should have begun!
but it’s hopeless!”

pop art quote.

dictating the past illegibly.

everybody loves it so.

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                                                                                                                                            November 15, 2011