Peter Sears


These guys keep saying, Hey Chuck this and Hey Chuck that.
My name’s not Chuck. They are family, too. Come on, they could
get their jollies somewhere else. They take me fishing
because I’m so bad they can blame me for the fish not biting

-- or just to fun me. Maybe I try too hard, like the time I flipped
my line to make a big cast, caught it in a trees, pulled,
slipped on the bank, and fell in. Then once we waded out
in big boots, my boots filled up. They laughed, I almost drowned.

I have a cousin, though, who’s nice. She invited me
for a sweet at the art museum coffee shop. I walked around
the rooms with her. Those German expressionists, that’s
what she called them, they were wild, like a brand new animal.

I couldn’t help but stop by this one painting of a cockeyed,
rake-thin, orange lady with a blazing head of big red hair.
Reminded me, I said, of when I was lighting my zippo lighter
near the lady with shiny hair spray and her hair caught fire.

So what do you think of the painting? My cousin asked.
I like it, the painter must have had a special feeling for her
and painted her. I get those feelings sometimes. Would you
like to paint me? My cousin asked. Why would I do that?

PETER SEARS MOST RECENT book is Green Diver from CW Books. He teaches in the Pacific University MFA in Writing, in Forest Grove, Oregon. He grew up in Long Island and now lives in Corvallis, Oregon.



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