Two Poems: ‘The Expected’ and ‘What We Lose at Night’



Allan Peterson is a poet and visual artist from Florida. We love his philosophically and psychologically dense dispatches from “a paradoxical world / where the expected is the once unexpected.” —Dan Chiasson


Indifference does not happen to the garden

or obliqueness to locusts

everything tunes to the incidence of light

these words blooming

into a book with similar urgencies

                 Yesterday fog clouded over the ghosts

or they blinded

couldn’t find us without blood or modifiers

then night the manta

that hangs out its vast exaggeration of fear

                 Weather had again rubbed things smooth

smooth and raw

at the same time with the same velvet and saw blades

a paradoxical world

where the expected is the once unexpected

                 we’re used to

and dedicated to those acceptances with emphasis

like a string of verys


Frostbite conscience passion for the absent

             the halt world simplified to introduction

Each time we go there we go there

while losing our coordinates We find our way

             as if we were the home-going pigeons

like the ones in the experiment

prevented in the loft from knowing

the smell of direction by great fans

but when turned loose still arrived

             During flight feathers and bone don’t register

Water and blood reflect radar

             so the flocks are statistasized as raindrops

In sight of the industries venting toxics

the organs speak to each other through annunciate blood

Into the windows go thousands

             gone tomorrow

unlike the apparent tomorrow with its endless life