The Fox Trapper – Letter 2

Wilbur,

I hope that you know how my heart longs for your presence. I must admit that when you had first left I felt as if I could not go on without you. “How,” I would ask myself, “do you continue without Wilbur? How is it that one can know of Wilbur’s arms, strong and, dare I say, seductive, and yet continue to be parted from both Wilbur and said arms?” It was a challenge I thought would never be capable of completion.

While I am overjoyed to hear from you, I am saddened that your expedition is not going so well. It is a shame that those men you are with have been mocking such a beautiful soul as yours! And why? Simply because you prefer Peas to Patties? Mint to Mutton? Taffy to Tenderloin? This is absurd. When will the world learn that those who eat meat can live side-by-side with those who do not? As a strict vegetarian, I know you had hoped “fox trapping” would involve capturing foxes and rehabilitating them to be functioning domesticated animals. I am full of sorrow that, instead, your journey involves murder.

As for myself, I’ve made some new friends back here in Windsor, all of which are human–although please wish your pet mouse Claudio a fond hello back. I am sure you will have foreseen my displeasure over your choice of name. People in Windsor still talk about your unhealthy obsession with my brother Claudio.

In regards to my new acquaintances, their names are Adeline, Beatrice and Melba. We have started a Knitting Faction which meets every Tuesday at Adeline’s estate. Unlike you and I, these ladies are quite well off. The tea is exquisite, and the laughter, raucous. We often discuss our suitors’ follies; and while you know, Wilbur, that I think of you in the best light a woman could think of a man she loves, I must admit that I shared the Plum Pudding story with them. Beatrice laughed so hard that I believe Adeline may need new upholstery on her Rococo styled love seat.

I know you love my artwork, so I have sent, along with this letter, a drawing of you strangling a fox with your bare hands, and your men groveling by your feet. I hope this will brighten your spirits as well as empower your soul.

By showing this drawing to the men you are with, perhaps you can regain your sense of manliness while not having to hurt any real-life foxes.

As per your instructions, I am still polishing your harp daily. I must admit this task has been made easier when I dip into our secret supply of wine and scotch. I started to dip into the liquor reserves to ease the pain of missing you, and found out that inebriation is quite pleasurable!

When I am under the influence, I try to imagine new ways for us to have greater monetary gain so that we may wed and live in a nice home–the kind “the girls” have. Perhaps I will submit my artwork to the local newspapers and become a cartoonist! I am not sure how good this idea will seem in the morning, when I am of clear mental faculties.

Since the room is beginning to spin, I will end my letter. Please think positively. I know you will make it through the Winter, come back to my white, eggy skin, father a family, and be the best damned harpist the Scottish Symphony Orchestra has ever seen! Excuse the harsh language. I have a case of the giggles.

With warm regards, and all of my love,

Eliza

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Peter and Andrew – 11th Letter

Dear Andrew,

Allow me to introduce myself: I am the resident of Garland, NE that you badgered until I accepted your letter to Mr. Ted Kooser. Upon talking to Ted about you, he and I both felt it best that he didn’t respond to your inquiry. I, however, have decided to give my two cents. I figured I’d use the return name of Ted Kooser (with my address in place of his) on the envelope, in order to ensure that you’d open this.

Your letter intrigued me. It seems we have very different ideas when it comes to poetry. I write poetry myself, and while I am not nearly as talented as the famed Mr. Kooser, I do know I am more talented than you. Ted has taught me a lot about poetry, and while I appreciate a style more like his, I do respect and admire poets of all different styles, and wish the best of luck to anyone with a passion for writing, regardless of how they write. I know Ted feels the same.

Normally, I do not get involved with the correspondences of Mr. Kooser, but yours is a special case. What makes it special? Well, aside from your loitering around the neighborhood in search of him, it is the sheer terrible nature of your writing. You seem to employ some kind of different-for-the-sake-of-being-different style: with your forward slashes and periods instead of spaces. I bet if I asked you, you’d tell me that poetry is an animal that has been tamed for too long and that you are attempting to bring back the true essence of the beast, or some bullshit. The world has encountered a million writers like you.

Somehow, it seems that people wish to jump aboard an art form so badly that instead of saving up to buy a ticket to get on the train, they just take a shit near the conductor and call it a ticket. Your poem is that piece of shit.

I’m sure that all your poems are like the one you sent Ted, as I know you’re the same lunatic I heard ruined that Open Mic in Salt Lake City. Screaming about some dead guinea pig you brought to the reading: this doesn’t exactly shout mental stability. And I’m sure if I met you a few years ago, you would have claimed to be striving towards becoming the world’s best accountant, and meandering about Garland looking for our best one, bringing with you ledgers and numbers or something.

To you, poetry is a phase. It’s just an area that you can exploit in order to be respected which, for some reason, you crave. Well, you’re not getting any respect from me. As a friend and neighbor of Mr. Kooser, I’ve met crazies like you in the past. In fact, one time, this woman walked over to Ted and I in a coffee shop and claimed to be doing something called “Night Terror Art.” I felt like stabbing her in the eye with the unsharpened pencil I had in my pocket. She claimed that the only thing holding her back was that her name (I’ve forgotten since, thank God) was not artistic enough. Disgusted, I threw my receipt at her for the two bottles of jam I had purchased for nine dollars, and said “here’s some inspiration, you talentless bag of ass” before walking out.

Thinking about the fact that you came that close to my beloved home actually just gave me a chill. Not even because a clearly disturbed individual apparently hiding on his person a decomposed guinea pig was talking to me, but because I had to bring in your lousy fucking poem to my desk in order to write you back. I have since burned your poem outside, so that no fumes enter my house.

I read in that newspaper article about your Salt Lake City debauchery that you were headed towards California to become a famous poet. If you become rich and famous, hopefully I’ll be unable to process any new memories. That way, I can remember the times before they catapulted lunatics into fame for flinging the shit they call art onto the faces of everyone asinine enough to glance at it.

I don’t care if you’re in California, back at this address in New York, or at the top of a soon-to-erupt volcano and can only remember my address: NEVER WRITE BACK.

– William

Peter and Andrew – 9th Letter

Peter,

I hope this letter finds you better than last I had heard from you. I do apologize for waiting 2 weeks to write you back, but as you will tell after reading this letter, I have been quite busy. I also apologize for “destroying the one thing about [your] life that made [you] really happy.” But, come on, man: Cheryl kneed you in the balls. You don’t need a woman like that. You need a woman who will be accepting of you and your friends, regardless of how many lewd statuettes this friend creates with her face on them, no matter how often this friend needs money, no matter how often this friend gets arrested at a Coffee Shop in Salt Lake City for bringing a dead guinea pig into the establishment and gets forcefully ejected while he accidentally (it slipped out) screams “BLACK POWER!” Yes…that is the kind of woman you need. And she’s out there, man! Let me tell you, dreams can come true…

That was a perfect segue for me to start talking about myself. Peter, I know you will be glad to find out that I am in California now, and I truly do love the air, the weather, and the respect artists like me receive. Let me tell you the tale of how I made it to, what we Californians like to call, “The Western-Most State Where Life’s a Piece of Cake” (TWMSWLaPoC for short. It’s catching on with my roommates)

Last I wrote to you I told you that I was “in hiding.” This really meant that I was sleeping around the back side of the Post Office, waiting for what I assumed to be a package of money from my parents which they intended on having me use to fly back home to New York.

Well, it wasn’t long before the police found me thanks to loitering charges being brought up against me. Apparently, the police nicely told me that my parents weren’t going to send me a package, but rather that it would be arranged for them to be billed for my flight. I was escorted to the airport by an officer, and I must admit that for a minute I thought I would be going home. But luckily for me (and for POETRY), a crisis occurred a few miles away from the airport which demanded the officer’s attention. Seeing as though I was set up in the system to have my parents billed, the officer brought me to the cashier and told me to explain to them the story (which he said they would already be aware of), as he rushed out the door.

It was then I came up with the idea of saying I lived in California, which apparently WORKED somehow. Then, oh then, my good friend Peter, I boarded a plane headed towards TWMSWLaPoC!

I landed in the San Francisco International Airport. The flight was pleasant. I flew a non-stop coach flight which lasted one hour. While in the air, I wrote this poem:

airborne/
not.for.the.cough.cough/
but.the.birds.do.fly/
without.wings.in.the.summer/
it.is.desire/
the.desire.of.man/
pretzels.anyone/

I meandered about on foot until I found a coffee shop. Upon going in, I met Gabriel, ThOmas (rhymes with “dough mAHs”), and 2j90 (I found out while she was drunk that her birth name was Francine). These three artists were living in an apartment a little bit away, and after a bit of chatting they QUICKLY accepted me! Not only am I now living with them, but my poetry is being more appreciated than ever.

Gabriel works in film. He does “Lens-Cap Art.” As far as I can tell from the 8 hour movie marathon he made us all watch one night, this means that he creates independent films while leaving the lens-cap on his camera.

ThOmas works in the post office as a “Post Artisan.” He puts a small “o” in the corner of every piece of mail he receives in to send out. He has claimed to be one of the widest regarded artists in the country today, since the San Francisco Post Office mails letters all over the USA. As far as I can tell, his art is pointless.

2j90 specializes in “Night Terror Art.” She leaves a camera on every night and records her night terrors. She hopes to one day have an exhibit displaying her terrors on various nights. As far as I can tell from the 8 hour movie marathon she made us all watch, the only difference between one night to the next is her pajamas. Other than that, she always screams for nearly an hour, during which the only words I can ever make out are “THE LUDICROUS LIFESTYLE! HARK! HARK! HARK! HARK!”

They often call me Classic Andy, since I have such a classic approach to the arts. They regard my poetry as fantastic. 2j90 even said that if she were not asexual, she would highly consider me a love interest due to how well I keep in touch with my emotions through my art.

They do expect me to pay rent, however. I know in your letter you said that you would not be sending me any more money “for obvious reasons,” but if there is any money in the donation tin, or if Ted Kooser has responded to my letter with any cash offerings, please send that, with your reply, over to the return address on this envelope. In the meantime, I am going to shop around my poetry to all nearby publications and hope to make a profit off that. Plus, there’s a help wanted sign in a video store nearby that I may inquire about.

As long as I ruined your life and you have no reason to be in New York, you may want to consider quitting that awful job of yours, changing your name to something more “artistic,” showcasing some hidden talent of yours, and moving in with Gabriel, ThOmas, 2j90 and I. We have been calling ourselves “The only living 4,” but I suppose we can change that to a 5 if you decide to come! I’ll gladly share half of my couch with you for sleeping arrangements. Also, 2j90 has some non-asexual friends that you may be able to showcase your newly-acquired sense of wine tasting to!

Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks for not wanting me to die. I also hope you are both alive and well.

through.the.stars.and.the.dead.of.space/

andrew

Peter and Andrew – 7th Letter

Peter,

Because my upcoming days will be hectic, I am writing you a series of smaller letters to keep you informed with my ongoings. I have decided to mail you them all in the same envelope at the same time, not only because it is a multi-part tale for the same story-arc that is my life, but because I want to save money on postage.

Right now I am on the greyhound bus. It isn’t a glamorous ride, but it’ll do. I am deciding which poem(s) to use for the Slam Poetry Open Mic in Salt Lake City. Right now I’m thinking of this one:

there.is.a.cold/
yes.wind/
and.earth.may.just.be/
with.its.own/
but.kind.oh.kind/
must.we.all.falter/
for.the.boo.boo.berries/
the.breakfast.has.called/
crunch/

I think it’s pretty obvious that this is my choice due to its harshness. I read it sometimes and I think “how SCATHING!” I’d ask you your thoughts, but by the time you get this I will have already finished. I’ll keep in touch.

You better stay out of my room!

through.the.stars.and.the.dead.of.space/

andrew

__________

Peter,

I just got to Salt Lake City. The Slam Poetry Open Mic is tomorrow. I checked the Post Office and have no mail from you. I spent my money on a cheap motel room. As I mentioned in my previous letter to you, I plan on passing out copies of my poetry and explaining on stage that the audience and I will silently read the poem to ourselves. I’m sure everyone will understand.

I want to save money and not use a photo-copier, so I politely requested a bunch of napkins at a nearby fast food restaurant, and plan on writing out copies of the scathing poem I mentioned in my first short letter. I will start on that now.

I hope you are doing well and that Cheryl is at least 10 feet, as requested on my note left on the door, from my doorknob.

through.the.stars.and.the.dead.of.space/

andrew

__________

Peter,

It is the next morning since my last short letter to you. I went to the Post Office today and got your letter and your package. While I am utterly disgusted that you have gone into my room, I am taking solace in the fact that my beautiful guinea pig, James Patterson, Emperor of The Currents, is now with me…albeit half-decomposed.

Since you have little to no respect for my wishes of keeping James Patterson, Emperor of The Currents at the apartment so that I may continue the mummification process once I return, I shall continue it now, on the road. But expect at least SEVERAL scathing poems to be written about not only this, but about YOU.

I do thank you for enclosing the $5.06 that was left in my donation tin. I will use this to buy some food. Perhaps eating will help comfort the fact that Ted Kooser has not yet written me back, that you have gone in my room against my wishes, and that my guinea pig is more dead than ever.

Thank you, also, for putting my pornographic materials and statuettes in storage for the time being. I hope the fact that I have lewd statuettes of your girlfriend performing sexual acts with curious barn animals does not put a strain on our friendship. I assure you that I made those while I was going though my “Statuette Phase” a while back…you remember, when I wanted to be the world’s best statuette creator…and that I only use them now for POETIC INSPIRATION.

Let me know how the wine tasting went. I hear that many poets frequently imbibe in wine. Perhaps I should learn more about this. Please tell me all that you learn from the experience.

Oh, and tell that mini-boss of yours to fuck off. Just because you happen to have a convoluted-to-the-point-of-uselessness position at a corporation during a time of economic turmoil they think that they can just tell you that they’re not sure what you do there? Man…this is why I could never work in an office! Well…again. It was only 4 years ago that I wanted to be the world’s best accountant. But then I had an epiphany!

Despite your objections to do so, and your notice that Cheryl will be “so pissed” if she finds out, I could use more money. So, yes, I was going to ask you for money again.

Please send me more money.

I’m off to the Slam Poetry Open Mic! I’ll write and let you know how that went.

through.the.stars.and.the.dead.of.space/

andrew

__________

Peter,

This is my fourth and final “mini-letter” from my Salt Lake City adventure. Please find, attached, the article titled “Wackjob Brings Death to Local Poetry Reading.”

I was not even able to pass out my poems before they attempted to forcefully eject me from the premises just because I brought James Patterson, Emperor of The Currents’ decomposing guinea pig body with me to the reading. I attempted to throw them around the room as they were kicking me out. Hopefully someone picked one up to read it.

While I am not dead, some people from the reading did hit me a few times. I must admit, that did hurt. I was not aware that poetry was such a dangerous undertaking.

As the article states, my parents have been called due to their misconception of my mental state (clearly they agree with you that I am a “deeply disturbed individual”). My parents are currently fronting the money for my flight back home. I will try my hardest to, instead, use this money to make it to California. Although, at my psychological evaluation, Dr. Marvin asked me what exactly I’ll do in California. Apparently my response of “MAKE IT AS A RICH POET” was not “rooted in reality.” I feared they may soon force me to go home, so I started running away. I am currently “in hiding” which is all I will say. But, since I still am on foot, and waiting for both my parents and your money, I am meandering around the Salt Lake City area. You can contact me at the local post office.

Did any newspapers try to contact you? If so, I hope you did not tell them of my massive and unusual collection of pornographic materials.

through.the.stars.and.the.dead.of.space/

andrew

Peter and Andrew – 5th Letter

Peter,

You always were the practical one of us. After all, as you mentioned in your previous letter, your job at Global Synergy Limited could not be more predictable. This is why, I imagine, that you dream about something so straight-forward and unimaginative as Space-Cars. By the way, I never asked how that “big meeting” went at your job?

As for your comment that you can twist and turn poetic meaning to whatever you’d like just because the analysis of a creative process is, at best, a subjective task, and is therefore influenced by a myriad of personal feelings as well as inferred significance…well, to that I say that you are a DICK.

How DARE you even compare the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” fluff to my poetic masterpieces?!?! If you weren’t my only friend, and currently my only source of income, I’d think quite heavily about ending this letter RIGHT HERE.

But, because I have news to tell you, and because I choose to believe that you were really “just kidding” like you said, I’ll write on!

To answer your question, “Are the best poets the ones that can bury any sense of meaning under layer upon layer of obtuse metaphors?” I say YES. The best poetry should be an unending and densely enigmatic experience, whose ultimate meaning, upon finally being discovered, can be treated like a secret club between the reader and the author.

If I wanted to read something straight-forward, I would read the manual for the microwave at our apartment so I can finally learn how to defrost chicken in there without making it all cooked & rubbery. But, alas, as the chicken has taught us, we are all here for only a short amount of time before being an unpleasant carbon mass ruining life’s dinner plans.

Hmm…I’ll have to write that down on a piece of paper. I think I may have STRUCK GOLD with that one!

Onward to my story! Last I wrote, I was (im)patiently headed towards Garland, Nebraska in order to meet my new hero-by-proximity, TED KOOSER.

Well, as it turns out, people in that small community happen to know Mr. Kooser, and happen to “respect his privacy” enough not to tell “random lunatics” where he lives. Don’t worry, I wasn’t “arrested,” but I was asked by the police to please discontinue my search for the famed poet. I asked someone from Garland to please give him this poem to explain the situation. I hope it gets to his hands, as I feel he will quickly be in contact once he reads it:

kooser/
the.traveling.to.and.fro/
has.caused.the.distress/
of.digress/
with.toads.i.beckon.forward/
to.spot.the.lick/
cro.cro.cro.cro/
many.clocks.have.faltered/
the.inspiration.of.the.ages/
lies.in.this/
please.write.back.at.the.attached.address/

Since I’m not too sure when he’ll read it, and where I’ll be when he does, I figured I’d keep in touch with you and give him the address of our apartment. Right now, after explaining to the police that I wish to make it out to California, they explained that tomorrow they will escort me to a Greyhound bus. For now, I am being temporarily detained (much different than “arrested”…only lasts 1 night!) at their precinct.

The bus is going to stop at the Salt Lake City Greyhound station. I will be sure to check the Post Office at Salt Lake City for your reply. I assume, by then, Ted Kooser will have sent you his wishes for my contact information.

An officer here tells me that his younger brother goes to college near Salt Lake City, and that he attends some Slam Poetry readings that take place there. Apparently there is an open mic! I may spring for a room if I can’t find a place to crash so that I can take place in this reading.

Although, as we both know, my poetry is not much for being listened to. It is more about being read, and examined. But I’m sure if I explain this to the crowd, and pass out photocopies of my works, we can all spend my 5 minutes of stage-time reading silently.

As for the other portions of your letter, that poem you found from our “Poet’s Bender” was certainly a good lark. Again, I don’t know why the bartender wouldn’t let me pay for our shots with that poem. These people just don’t understand the value of GOOD POETRY!

It is with regret that I discuss, finally, the portion of your letter that deals with my room and Cheryl. If you and Cheryl ever do get married, and if I am indeed the best man, I always planned on my speech being “delivered” in the same fashion of my reading I plan on doing at the open mic: I will distribute copies of my poem/speech, and allow a moment for everyone to read. If, in fact, my poetry is as dense as she says it is, only I will know the TRUE MEANING behind my “cryptic words.” THEN WHO WILL HAVE THE LAST LAUGH?!?! James Patterson, Emperor of the Currents, you will be avenged!! The best guinea pig to ever roam the earth will not have died in vain!

Also, Peter, I can not believe you called a locksmith to enter my room! There was a reason why I put my entire collection of pornographic magazines, videos, and statuettes in front of the doorway, and exited through my window, down a rope, and to the street: it is so that no one could possibly enter. My years of magazine, VHS, DVD, and lewd-statuette collections may have prevented me from attaining any kind of real human relationship, but at least now it is preventing anyone from entering my room–and it is ESPECIALLY preventing Cheryl from moving any of her stuff in there! My room will not be your girlfriend’s closet space on my watch.

Hope all is well! Please write back with Ted Kooser’s response, and with any money left in the now-larger donation tin.

through.the.stars.and.the.dead.of.space/

andrew

PS. the wretched smell is probably from James Patterson, Emperor of the Currents’ decomposing guinea-pig body. Since I left, I haven’t been able to continue the mummification process. I promise that I will continue this upon my return.

Peter and Andrew – 3rd Letter

Peter,

First off, I would like to thank you for what you said about seeing a “marked improvement” in my poetry.

That being said…SPACE-CARS?!? Seriously, Peter. My poem is not about Space Cars. If it even makes you THINK of Space Cars, you must have some kind of reading problem, because that is fucking stupid. Let’s go through it all. Believe me, it’ll benefit you when I’m famous so you don’t look like an ass telling people I write poems about Space Cars, when the rest of the world knows the truth, and can see my vision! The poem is obviously about the dark side of pollution:

the.kiss.of.fate/

– The Kiss of Fate here is clearly the Sun. The sun floats in the sky like a hot Hershey’s Kiss. And “fate” is because it’s the sun. Clearly the sun has a lot to do with our fate.

supplies.me.with.all.the/
chances.the.sky.needs.to.sanitize/
the.highways.as.the.cars.fly.by/

– It seriously couldn’t be any more obvious, Peter. The sun provides me (by which I obviously mean The Earth, because, as I told you before I left, I’m working on my epic masterpiece in which I write poems with the Earth as the narrator) with all the chances the sky needs to sanitize the highways. Ok, well The Earth’s saying “The Sun’s giving me everything I need to clean these highways,” but then “as the cars fly by” is saying “perhaps, but the cars keep coming.”

It is now that we feel the intense drama that is this poem. The narrator, the Earth, wants to clean his highways, and the big Kiss in the sky wants to help, but the cars keep coming.

vroom.kaboom.spitoon.platoon/

– This line depicts an epic battle whose size and magnitude have never been seen in all our human wars. Even if you combine the War of 1812 with the prophesized war between good and evil in Revelations, you would not even come close to the DRAMA of this line. Think about it: it all rhymes, AND it shows the cars, “vroom,” the bombs, “kaboom,” old-timeyness like the War of 1812, “spitoon,” and the battle, “platoon.” The war between moral obligation and a harsh reality is underway.

what.can.we.all.know/
only.that.it.is.us/
that.holds.up.the.stars/

– Well, what can we do to help the Earth’s battle against this dark beast of pollution? It is us. We hold up the stars at night, by which I of course mean it’s our trash on the highway. But we can’t clean it up, because we’ll only make more. Much like how we may hold up the stars, but some of them don’t even exist anymore–their light just finally reached earth. So we are holding up everything and nothing, the dark and the light, the used condoms on the side of the road and the trash bag. What can we do?

THAT, Peter, is what this poem means. Hopefully you see how obvious it all was now.

And thank you for the $100! It is much appreciated. I’m sorry that your mom has such little faith in my ability to survive on my own. As you can tell by this letter, I am still very much ALIVE.

I got off the bus at the Omaha Bus Station, then walked to the Post Office. I picked up your letter and this cash. I was going to, as you said, use it on a train or bus ticket to get me to California safely, but then I realized something: I’m only 74 miles away from the home of former Poet Laureate and all around amazing man TED KOOSER! The last time I checked his Wikipedia page, it said he lived near Garland, Nebraska.

So, I started walking the 74 miles to Mr. Kooser’s house. I started to get very tired after only 12 hours of walking. Luckily, someone passing by saw me, and was nice enough to give me a ride! I explained who I was, my dream of being a poet, and my desire to be dropped off at Ted Kooser’s House.

I am now at a homeless shelter in nearby Lincoln, NE. The man who picked me up told them I was a crazy homeless man with delusions of grandeur. I have heeded your advice and shaved my beard, since I was unable to convince anyone here that not only was I a poet and not homeless, but that I was only 28 years old (the average guess here was 54). I have since thought of some poets that were clean shaven, and that has helped.

Everyone is very nice here, and they provide with me food. However, I am planning on running away tomorrow (tonight’s meatloaf!) to get advice from a former Poet Laureate!

Thanks for not telling the IRS where I was. It’s a shame that tax evasion is currently biting me in the ass in the form of an empty donation tin. This is why I have sent, along with this letter, a much LARGER vessel I found under the beds here.

I’m happy to hear about things going well between you and Cheryl. You and her go great together, and you know I believe that, so I hope you don’t take offense, but tell that bitch to keep her whore body out of my damn room! If she even thinks of laying one slutty finger on that doorknob, tell her I will personally write the most SCATHING poem I can, and title it “Cheryl: Diary of an ASSHOLE.”

Sorry man. I just still can’t forgive her for killing James Patterson, Emperor of The Currents (or “the guinea pig” as she whorishly called him). She couldn’t even do me the simple favor of taking a week off work to give him his shots at the appropriate times when you and I left to go on a “Poet’s Bender.”

I’ll check the Post Office in Garland, Nebraska for your reply. If you have any more money to donate, it would be much appreciated. I plan on spending this $100 taking Ted Kooser to a nice restaurant for dinner.

through.the.stars.and.the.dead.of.space/

andrew

Peter & Andrew – 1st Letter

Peter,

I told you that I would write you once I made it to California, but I was thrown off the train once someone complained that the bathroom door had been locked for a few hours. In hindsight, taking your generous offer of buying me a train ticket from New York to California would have been much better than hiding in a train bathroom, hoping not to be caught.

They kicked me off at Union Station in Chicago. I then attempted to hitchhike my way to California. After unsuccessfully trying to hitchhike, I ended up walking to a nearby hotel, and spent some of the money I swore not to touch on a room. I write to you from the nice desk across from my bed in this hotel.

So far, it seems you were right about my dream of making it as a poet in California being much harder to achieve than I imagined. But, I refuse to give up hope! On the train, and at the hotel, I attempted to pay with a poem instead of money. Both places rejected my proposal. I think the poem is beautiful, and soon-to-be very valuable once I make it to California and become a well-to-do poet. Some people, however, are not willing to think about their long-term investments. Give it a read:

the.kiss.of.fate/
supplies.me.with.all.the/
chances.the.sky.needs.to.sanitize/
the.highways.as.the.cars.fly.by/
vroom.kaboom.spitoon.platoon/
what.can.we.all.know/
only.that.it.is.us/
that.holds.up.the.stars/

The man on the train did not even give it a read. However, the woman behind the counter of the hotel did read it before she told me that I can only pay with cash or credit. As I handed her my bank card, she asked me about my writing style: specifically my use of periods instead of spaces, and my use of forward slashes at the end of each line.

I attempted to tell her that poetry is an animal that has been tamed for too long by writers writing for the Hallmark masses. I tried to let her know that I am attempting to bring it back to the wild. To bring back the true essence of the beast: the spontaneity, the avant-garde nature, the absurd spinning of its wheels. She smiled, but I could tell I was going over her head. She wasn’t getting it. She wasn’t living at the edge of life the way I am. The way all the great poets were. The way everyone SHOULD be.

I write you this letter in regular format because I know you told me you would not read my letters if they are written in my signature style. I still stand by my theory that if you supported my writing more, it would look better for you in the long run once they print our correspondences in a book. All the great poets had their personal correspondences printed in a book, which is why I know I’ll make it. The hardships now must be endured!

I am going to end this letter so that I may get back to my poetry. I am going to use this time to write as many poems as possible. Perhaps the yelling couple in the room next door will provide me some inspiration.

I must ask: have you gotten any more money in my donation can back at the apartment? If you have, or if you wish to make a generous donation yourself, it would be appreciated if you could please wire me this money. I took a pretty big hit on this room.

Please write me back when you can. I just went downstairs to get some ice, and spoke with the janitor. He told me that he knows someone who works for greyhound, and could get me to Omaha, Nebraska for half price! This is exciting news. So you can address your letter to the Omaha Post Office. But, I know you don’t like to waste postage, and to be honest, I’d rather you donate the 42 cents to me. So you can email me if you’d like. The janitor wasn’t sure, but assumed there were some internet cafés in Omaha. I’ll be sure to check them.

Hope all is well.

through.the.stars.and.the.dead.of.space/

andrew