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 – 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