Spring 2008, Volume 4

Poetry by Peter Schwartz

core study: notes on an apple

imagination says
in time everything becomes
something else

an apple
sits by my window
for 300 years

one day a woman
takes a bite and
a flock of birds
takes off

it becomes wine
for a monk or the beginning
of an orchard

its life is yours
but has happened as
if in translation

a few steps
from the vertebrate
before you ever
really got to

eat that

this apple
might scent your grandmother's skin at her wake

nervously you
memorize your furniture as if each piece were a passenger

on some final
voyage west, straight
into the sunset
of your imagination

the corners
we most live
in crumble

alas some places
are too small
for apples.

once in holland
I saw a painting
of an apple

now some nights
I hang myself on the
wall like a painting
and wait

for a power
greater than
sleep to take
me to my


how to survive an execution

I'm transcendent meat
doubt sentenced to a whole
winter outside
the blockhouse

a skeleton of all the sleeping someones
I'll never be lined up against the fence
each facing their private death squad
judgment with cigarettes
in their fingers

after a lifetime of commitment
to nothing more than style I take
on a look of concrete
as if to pave my escape
straight through the eyes
of my oppressors

who joke about my guilt
forgetting they too are apes of fate
in this perpetual fix mixing
noon with midnight until
my watch breaks
like a butterfly

my head swims
beyond the rows of trees
and stone statues
beyond this tired plaza
with its overgrown armory
of wooden benches
and slow fountains

beyond the unmentionable
and immeasurable
beyond the soldiers and pigeons
beyond government
and reason

beyond even the
child playing at the edge
of the courtyard

BIO:  Peter Schwartz is a painter, poet and writer. He’s also an associate art editor for Mad Hatters’ Review. His artwork can be seen all over the Internet but specifically at: www.sitrahahra.com. He’s had hundreds of paintings, poems, and stories published both online and in print and is constantly submitting new work as if his very life depended on it. His last show was at the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery in Chelsea NYC.