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for Bill Sovern

The ditch weed is super kind

Cops are all well read

City fountains spew cabernet

You still wind up dead

Smoke breaks count as meditation

Well dressed is a state of mind

Chapbooks are legal tender

You still wind up dead

No monuments or class fees

The weather is always beautiful

or beautifully glum

You still wind up dead

Readers know your best work

Readings are celebrations

Every road an invitation

You still wind up dead

Glaciers are still frozen

The sky’s not full of lead

Everyone gets somewhere to be

You still wind up dead

There’s always a party cooking

in a church where no one prays

Every poem breaks god’s heart

You still wind up dead

The infinite becomes graspable

I am every grain of sand

All hair comes with flowers

Being alive is work

The whiskey flows like water

from rock deep in Earth

Printing’s free

Pens never dry

Outside doesn’t touch

too hard anymore


you still wind up dead



There's only one Petey, thank God,

which is good because otherwise

Jesus would have to kill

all the other idols

and that's a lot of blood

on the hands of a mere god

even a bolt-throwing thrill-kill god

such as Zeus or one of those tentacled

Sumerian guys who hates everyone

and everything and one day will

devour us all

Petey says hard things, meaning

he has difficulty saying them

Petey could have nailed my sister

he was so hard last night

But he didn't

Instead he read about velour which

was a mistake and a huge turnoff

My sister is into raw silk and cashmere

Petey is a yard sale goldmine

my sister just drives right on by

She says she likes his stuff

She says, "I love Petey"

but deep down

she doesn't mean it

and she says it several times

Petey laments killing bugs

in his kitchen – but he kills

them anyway

He would never hurt anyone

or anything – the stomping

doesn't last too long

and he is very accurate

He likes his bug-covered floor because

he is above it and because

of the sound it makes

under his sneakers – hard-

wood, thumping, like a drum

like a heart beating

that stops when he's killed enough

when he's had his fill of killing

That's not really Petey

That's just me being weird,

trying to make him sound

more interesting than he already is,

which is hard to do

but not as hard as Petey.

The bugs mostly are ants

and Petey hears them scream

collectively, which may be why

he starts stomping again

Petey is not cruel or short-sighted, though

He is a giant and he towers

over hick poets and ants alike.

There's only one Petey, thank God.

I mean how many spliced haywire

clones of Woody Allen and Franz Kafka

can exist in this his perfect universe

at any one time?

More than one? I doubt it.

That's a lot to ask of Zeus

or even Kthuluu

though I'll bet he could

work in a little

immaculate Petey

just before his big

tentacle-laced Chuck Taylor

with a pentagram All-Star

comes crashing down

to the floor

above us all


and that's it



Go down on enough smooth strange

it begs the question—why not?

Well, it's dangerous, frankly

I have emotional scars to prove it

Never tit for tat a woman, dude

know that a trimmed bush indeed

makes the tree look bigger

like a scared suddenly sky-clad mouse

With your sweatbox removed

lotta slippy slide going on

just sitting there in traffic

even imagining hearing the word

Kegel causes one to occur

You’d trim back your beard

if they asked—why not?

You’d bathe brush your teeth

shower shortly after pulling out

Mostly it’s a feel & look

she likes no pubes in her teeth

I know—I’ve asked

gross personal intimate

& precisely the same reason

only a few crazy loudmouths

show up to hog the mic

at school board meetings

even though everyone has

the right to vote


Tony Brewer (he/him) is a poet and audio artist from Bloomington, Indiana. He has published 8 books including

"Homunculus" (Dos Madres Press, 2019), "Pity for Sale" (Gasconade Press, 2022), and "psithurism" (Last Lights Press, 2022), and he is a frequent collaborator with experimental music & field recording collective Urban Deer. More at

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