Illustration © Eric N. Peterson


Bless You Brother

Don’t believe in a Creator God just because Trump has COVID
it’s still a bad dream even if I’m laughing in my sleep
Golden tower still not in ruins
Teens still maskless on city streets
What planet will we resemble in 500 years?
fossil fuel burned on the way to the gun store
how long alt right neighbor thinks COVID a hoax?
black bird solo in the ash-hazed sky
flash fires I have known & loved
Hurricane Kali won’t you spare me tonight?
I never did get that Kerouac tattoo
now on the run from the robo-cops
I have confidence in luminous mind
but it’s hard to remember Buddha in Hell
man the light bulbs!
Tibetan texts memorized
new poetry sung into space
and instantly forgotten
(somebody else write it down)
“I don’t want to be buried/in a pet sematary”
Ramones tune chanted at the campfire
once upon a time


Marc Olmsted has appeared in City Lights Journal, New Directions in Prose & Poetry, New York Quarterly, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and a variety of small presses. He is the author of five collections of poetry, including What Use Am I a Hungry Ghost?, which has an introduction by Allen Ginsberg. Olmsted’s 25 year relationship with Ginsberg is chronicled in his Beatdom Books memoir Don’t Hesitate: Knowing Allen Ginsberg 1972-1997 – Letters and Recollections, available on Amazon.

Eric N. Peterson is from Atlanta, Ga. He’s been drawing cartoons all his life. He leans towards the absurd, imaginative, and the surreal, as that’s where all the flavor is.