jean-paul Pecqueur

Queens County Public Library


While riding the morning subway

through ancient Greece

I witnessed a pair of fur boots

furtively crouched upon the feet

of a charming asymmetrical blonde

who was reading “Meditations on Death”

blink on and off four times

in such rapid succession

that the young Russian in pinstripes

who had been stealing glances

since at least the ruins of Ephesus

dropped his annotated volume

of “The Principles of Personal Vision”

into the river of forgetting

out of which strode Teresa, a carbon copy

of Minerva, with her hands full

of pink photocopies: “TERESA

works her power to SATISFY

each and everyone.  She reveals to you

all the hidden secrets, evil eyes

and lurking dangers that may harm you.

If you really want something done about the matter.

HERE IS THE WOMAN WHO

WILL DO IT FOR YOU IN A HURRY.”







Not Only in Music


I’m a big fan of your dress.

The simple presence of camellia blossoms

makes it seem like everything


will be just fine:  in music 

politics, sports, in the shoe department

during the final days


of summer clearance. In my sleep

I have seen the future, and the future

is not especially interested in me. 


A boy may pray nightly for his father

to die a haunted, wounded thing

and this will certainly displace him.


He may lose his appetite for dessert,

learn to experience ice-cream as punishment.

He may even perfect the variable skill sets


needed for a career in breaking

then climbing to his knees again.

God how I miss those days—


serious speed plus precise control. 

I was at least thirty years old

before I dared to put on a red shirt.


Never having heard of Kandinsky,

the true heroism of the colorist

was entirely lost on me, yet now


fully qualified to see the spiritual in art,

I can’t even sip a strawberry soda

without getting all choked up.