N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 3 :   S p e c i a l   E d i t i o n

L o n g   P o e m   M a s t e r p i e c e s   o f   t h e   P o s t b e a t s





Sarah Jean Peters



Incubation Ritual


vex yr persuasion, wreck and snuff out

with savage prints of camouflage

with fuck and fury and falseness

gutshot with sea-anemone bullet holes


sinister name cuts through

scar across aching ventricle

names common as coelacanths

trip wire to ordinary darkness


swallows won’t follow

though yr trek stirs

a world thick with gnats

rank with electrical fires


come on man the instant of death is drown in my dress

Sun eclipsed by the vinyl upholstery of back seats

and all of my gestures are locked behind the bars of yr regard

I am freezing now the furnace of yr voice has gone cold


my foil, his fin appearing reluctantly beneath my raging fist-shaped waves


commandeers sentient energy of navies resurrected by my lasers’ fine aim


yr swagger-like fire of ecstasy damped by its own prurient glamour


& appetite for angel consorts, heavens habituate to yr quotidian gravity


& left


the danger, lost noise solved and resolved


erased by smoke and conniving


my graceless hand in yr sinister one


rich blood turbocharged with gas-station energy drink


that pumps through veins


with no help of a heart



Avalon can’t help, either but turns to serrated blade


renders thee entranced


& left


complete with abyss & leads you


to my apparition cased by spies with uncommon faces


like the velvet lure of a bird’s reflection


never letting go of regret or revelation of child visionaries


half-mourned before dead   


& left


no grudge against ancient clocks as metal sainted falcons push against rusted locks like you vain as gold

dug angels from yr future mansions, lord of zigzag angles, a tourist at cemeteries

tarnishing the mourning not honorable of character or purpose

a narrow ray of light if cloudless at Newgrange becoming once a year


dispensation brings


forth a rareness of penitents


tears away flesh


of my flesh


gentle retro-cognition


on my serene mind


the imposition of yr manic one


I resemble yr voice now as it says eternity or sacrament


yr voice makes monsters that exact justice with flames & blocks roads riven to stop time


I drape the desert to cover myself & comb yr nocturnal lyrics

through mass of my tangled mane

I pretend water is yr disciple & sleep in flowering seaweed of yr murky thoughts


salt of the sea dissolves yr soldier’s shoulders beneath my folded hands


& left


waves velocity equal to the volume of stars


elegant as a noose, beasts as common as long trains fall from wedding dresses

grow and twist like alligator gars


jealous lionesses who never say quite what they mean compose music out of



& electro-convulsive therapy


cicadas’ incessant shrill I prefer to ride the cracked sidewalk to the hydrogen-igniting airships of yr curiously short death

& left

bride of folie a deux past waiting out the silent trouble

& left

a man demented, beat with fists broke down in front of menhood set to avenge death of yr own word (Morant missed burial by an hour)

just 18 minutes for you, armed with venality flanked by irregulars, borders’ son carelessly reveals acumen

for cant

& left

monography and sulfurous smoke from burnt stockings that paved the way

below heaven


ignite the paper flowers with burnt out luminescence

& left

millions of busted shells returned to my unconsecrated planet

ground, unrecognizable, spoiled to have each grain


subordinate in the serial of each precise occasion

never yr theory the severed range becomes precise

restrained behind his firing line quartered by an hour, submerged

never at home in his sands

& left

on the particular hour of a certain night a bullet in the chamber of my finesse 

rooms meant for you were obscure, inviolate previously lodged in the fascination of bone capturing my breath

in the chutes and ladders of my net-like stockings

remake me one day lux as mink.




Sarah Jeanne Peters is a poet, teacher, and behavioral therapist. Her publications include the chapbook Curses and other love poems. Find her poems in Abandon Automobile: Anthology of Detroit City Poetry, Poems from Penny Lane, Watching the Wheels: A Black Bird, Lyre Lyre, and The International Worker. She has taught American and British literature since 1993.