Monday, August 5, 2013

Peter Swanson


The dusk of ponds, the flesh of summer camps:
Colors from bad dreams. Her friends from then
Are ageless now, forever in their teens.
The killer disappeared with their limp lives:

A poacher with a bag of fallen birds.
She still can feel the whistle of his breath,
The swish of boning knife through gummy air.

But now, grown old and heavy-hipped and gray,
Death comes slower-paced, a tourist bus
That hisses to a halt where vistas are,
And cannot raise the wingbeat of her heart.

Occasionally, the black of dream-plagued nights
Will snag her skin. She's young again,
And radiant, one step ahead of everyone.

Peter reads "The Survivor of a Slasher Flick in Middle Age":

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Peter confesses: "I have always been fascinated by 'the final girl,' the survivor in a horror movie. We never see her grow old, since she is recast in sequels and reboots by new starlets. So my poem is simply a way of imagining her at a later stage in her life."

PETER SWANSON lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he writes poetry and detective fiction. He has recently appeared or will appear in The Atlantic, Asimov's Science Fiction, The Barefoot Muse, Interpreter's House, Unsplendid, and Yellow Mama. His first crime novel, A Girl with a Clock for a Heart, is forthcoming from William Morrow and Faber & Faber.


Unknown said...

awfully good poem! bravo

Peter Swanson said...

Thank you, Bill. In this case I'll credit my teachers, of which you were one. If you are not Bill Knott, poet and one-time Emerson College professor, then thank you just as much.

Rosemarie Keenan said...

I read this poem last month and was thinking of it again today. Love the imagery. Thank you.