April Poetry Month (Day 2): Peter Burzynski #npm17 #wppoets

Peter BurzynskiPeter Burzynski is a fourth-year PhD student in Creative Writing-Poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a M.F.A. in Poetry from The New School University, and a M.A. in Polish Literature from Columbia University. In between his studies, he has worked as a chef in New York City and Milwaukee.


Lung Butter

I was six or seven
when I imagined
Pontius Pilate
as some kind of Red
Baron-looking villain.
I later learned
that there were no airplanes
or even aeroplanes
when Barabbas walked
this earth. I ran
around the kitchen
punching the air
further puncturing it
with biplane engine
noises. I ran until
I coughed up a slimy
yellow rectangle
and admired its shape
against the corn silk yellow
of cracked linoleum.

Today, twenty years
have gone by and I’m
watching my niece
attempting to stand
like a human in her baby
body. It isn’t fair
to be a plucked bird
calmly testing each spoke
of the padded aviary.
She found a way out
rolled falling to the floor.
Her baby head throbbed
with a little baby
goose egg sprouting red.
Earlier she was sleeping
in the bed like I imagine
a turtle sleeps in its self.


Oy, Lizards

Where is your love?
Is it shadowless?

Wander widow, tell me
your astrology. I want

to sleep with you
until the dawn takes

our sneers and splits
cotillion gloves at the edge

of fingers. You smile.
That’s my shirt. A man

shirt. It’s okay. Chests
fill themselves when hidden.

Bed-ridden, smoke and
drink ridden, I look to you,

love. I’ve broken so many
times. Fix. Flunky dregs.

I’ll burn all of my tulips just
to see you under the bulb.


Oxter, v.

for C.W.

You hold my heavy
up. I know you, 

my friend. Hand to
rose. We harassed 

pigeons as they
passed out

crumbs and christmas
wreathes by the gutter.

We made afternoon
breakfast. Just eggs 

Benedict without
the betrayal. Holandaisies 

and the building of towers
of various hats. We

waited to smoke, drank still
whiskey in a glass. 

I made a fool of myself
in that bar. Others, too.

You remember, I can’t
forget. The couch,

the village, the old
trampolining concertina

of our lungs. I sigh. I’m heavy.
You carry me through ashes 

and asps. Our cradles crash—
I knew it would be you all along.