Peter and Andrew – 7th Letter


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:

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!




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.




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.




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.


Peter and Andrew – 6th Letter


I hate to break this to you, but if you were confronted by law enforcement for doing something you weren’t supposed to do and detained for any length of time for performing said action, you were arrested. Just so you’re aware of and completely clear on your situation, you were definitely arrested.

I’ve got some good news and some bad news. First the bad stuff: no letter from Ted Kooser, sorry man. I wouldn’t give up hope yet, though. I mean, he’s probably a very busy guy. I’m sure he’s got piles and piles of poems that he’s busy laureatting and he just hasn’t gotten to yours yet. Just give it some time.

And now for the GOOD NEWS (albeit very small good news)! Some chump(s) left $5.06 in your (new and improved!) donation bin. Some geezer passing by must have mistaken it for some kids with cancer charity it tossed in whatever they had in their back pocket. “Better I give it to this sketchy bucket than the government steal it and give it away to those dang-darnin’ (enter racial slur here).”

Despite your best efforts, I finally got into your room! It only took a grappling hook and a brick, but I did it. Honestly though, I sort of wish I had never gone in there. I’m finding it very difficult to unsee most of the things I saw in there, whether it be the half-rotten remains of James Patterson, Emperor of The Currents or the statuettes of what appears to be Cheryl participating in lewd sexual acts with carious barn yard animals. You’re a deeply, deeply disturbed individual. I luckily was able to get most of the pron out before Cheryl came over, however the neighbors have a new nickname for me: “Creepy-looking Pervert” (come on, it’s not even that clever). Don’t worry about your porn, it’s in storage and you can send for it when the time right (soon, please make that time soon).

Speaking of James Patterson, Emperor of The Currents…

enclosed please find the half-rotten remains of James Patterson, Emperor of The Currents! I figured you’d like a travel companion, and who better than the partially-mummified remains of the guinea pig that’s made my apartment smell like death? I bet you were excited when you had a package waiting for you at the Post Office, weren’t you?

I’m glad I took care of the smell situation when I did, because Cheryl and I are having a couple of her friends over my apartment for a wine-tasting get-together. I’ll admit, I don’t know much about tasting wine, but how hard could it be (“this tastes like grape juice, but grape juice that will get you FUCKED UP!”)? Really I’m just trying to get to know her friends better so she’ll be more comfortable to take the “next step.” ::crosses fingers::

Oh man, that meeting. In a nutshell, the meeting consisted of three members of upper-management, my manager and a sort-of-my-manager-but-not-really-my-boss-but-can-tell-me-what-to-do (I call him my Mini-Boss… like Protoman) explaining for a good hour and a half how they’re “very disappointed in my work,” and “are not entirely sure what I do here.” I mean, COME ON! I’m the assistant to the assistant team-leader in charge of developmental synergy and research juxtaposition! WHAT DON’T I DO!? Man, sometimes I feel so unappreciated for all the work I do there.

I’m glad to see you showing interest in my goings-ons. Usually the only time you ask me about my life is when you’re buttering me up to ask me for something.

Wait. You’re not about to ask me for money again, are you? You know Cheryl will be so pissed if she finds out about this!

I’m curious to find out what Slam-Poetry in Salt Lake City is like. All dissin’ people’s 4th wife and declaring “ain’t nobody worshippin’ like I be worhippin’!” Let me know how that turns out, it sounds absolutely ridiculous and perfect for you.

Here’s hoping you don’t offend too many SLC’ers, I hear they can kick you out pretty quickly for the most minor of things (although I’m sure getting kicked out is old hat for you, at this point).



Peter and Andrew – 5th Letter


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:


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.


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 – 4th Letter


You should write a poem about space cars, they sound totally cool. Think about it; rocket-cars transporting astronauts to space-work and rocket-minivans transporting their wives to space-pilates class. Space-cars man, that shit’s crazy.

Judging by the explanation you gave me, it seems to me that any poem can be construed to mean anything. Like, the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” could represent your Dad, the “rain” represents his raging alcoholism and love for bare-knuckle boxing your dog and the “sun” could mean it finally dawning on him that he loves dudes and his running away to Chile with Armando. You see? It all makes sense now that I made some vague connections and talked down to somebody in a holier-than-thou tone. Do you think I was born to be a poetry critic after all?

I’m just kidding, man. I don’t mean to make fun. I guess I just never got poetry, you know? What makes it good? Are the best poets the ones that can bury any sense of meaning under layer upon layer of obtuse metaphors?

Actually, why don’t you get Mr. Kooser to answer me, since you’re so positive you’re going to be meeting him? I honestly couldn’t imagine him letting some random fan into his house, but you’ve certainly impressed me with your resourcefulness thus far. I’m sure you’ll be able to lure him in with the old “if I spend $100 dollars on you, you’re morally obligated to be my friend” trick. Then, he’ll give you all his poetry secrets and you’ll get to California and write the classic American epic and make millions of dollars, all thanks to the generous gift by your friend Pete.

But more than likely he’ll just call the cops on you. Just make sure to not get busted for anything but trespassing.

I called a locksmith to try to get into your room (changing the lock, very mature) but he said there was still something on the other side of the door that was keeping him from opening it.
A. What the fuck did you do?
B. How do I fix it?
There’s a wretched smell coming from in there and I can’t do anything about it but fill my apartment with scented candles. The apartment smells like the collection of gifts that I got for every girl that I knew well enough to feel obligated to buy a gift for but not well enough to know what they actually like.

I wish Cheryl and you got along better. You know, if we get married (oh no, I hope I didn’t jinx it), you’d have to be best man, which means you’d be forced to say something nice about her in your speech. You can’t put too much blame on her for the untimely death of James Patterson, Emperor of The Currents, the note you left for her was one of your poems. I doubt she understood it.

Speaking of the “poet’s bender,” I was cleaning out my closet and found a poem you wrote during that week of debauchery. Here it is (edited without the dots and slashes, for legibility purposes):

Peter’s a pussy, alliteration=truth
Check out the rack on that specialty pie
No leave? We’re only not seeing!

Oh man, I still feel like I’m recovering from that.

If you’re in jail by the time you get this, be someone’s bitch or kill someone the first day. That’s the only way you’ll be protected.

I’ll try to save up in case I have to wire you bail money, but Cheryl yelled at me sending you money last time. I’ll see what I can do.

For the love of God take care of yourself.


Peter and Andrew – 3rd Letter


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 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.

– 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.


– 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.


– 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.


Peter and Andrew – 2nd Letter


I’m excited to hear that you’re not dead. Mostly because you’re my life-long friend, but partially because you proved my mother wrong in saying that you “wouldn’t last three days” without me “babysitting” you. Needless to say, I made a killing off that bet. Enclosed please find part of the winnings, $100. I suppose I owe you some for taking enough care of yourself that you didn’t die after being away from home for three days.

I’m a little upset you didn’t take my offer of the train ticket, but I’ll admit that I admire your resolution to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make something of yourself. As much as I disagree with your choice of poetry writing; it’s appeal has gone the way of the Byzantine Empire; I respect the assertiveness of your decision. I could have easily gotten you a job pushing papers at Global Synergy Limited, you know. They made me assistant resource coordinator, I’m starting to hold a little sway there! I guess a “normal” job wouldn’t really be your thing, though. You were always one to go against the grain.

By the way, please stop calling it a “poet’s beard.” If you’re going to be giving your beard a nickname, call it by what it really is: your “long, dirty, uneven, ragged, axe-murderer beard.” There’s a reason why no one will let you stay the night, and it’s because you look homeless. There are only two types of people who let in people who look homeless: people who work at HOMELESS shelters and people who like to murder homeless people because it’s easy to get away with. Please shave that fucking thing.

I see a marked improvement in your poetry, Andy. I’ll admit, the true meaning must be going over my head, but the words paint an interesting picture. It makes me think of cars… but in space. Space-Cars, I guess (am I missing something here?). I am still, however, standing strongly by my theory that your “signature” style gives me a fucking migraine.

I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear that things with Cheryl and me are going great! She’s been in a great mood the past couple of days and she even mentioned possibly moving in! How awesome is that? I wish you could see her in this kind of mood, but she’s been like this ever since you… oh. Well that explains her pushiness for offering the train ticket. Let’s be honest, man, you guys hardly ever got along. Remember the guinea pig thing?

You’ll be receiving this at the Omaha post office, I hope. I decided to splurge on the postage since I doubt there are many internet cafes in Nebraska. Have you ever even been outside of New York before this?

There was no money in the donation can, it was a terrible idea to begin with. The sign on it said “Help Andy’s Cause,” but NO ONE KNEW YOU WERE LIVING THERE! You were hiding from the IRS, remember? No one knew who “Andy” was.

Please, please, please take this money and get yourself safely to California. I don’t like the idea of you wandering around the United States anymore.

I’m excited about hearing back from you. For the love of God take care of yourself.


Peter & Andrew – 1st Letter


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 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.