Into the West

“(…) he dreamed a moment of battles his soul survived to wander there.”

Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano




this is how it works:

soft plastic phantoms of the past

assembling proleptic flashes of sub-poetry

& retrograde evidence & representations

of my edited emotional history:


your languid shape

backlit against the flat sky

your pregnant drawl

shallow & corporate

in scientific locution/

my memory of you

jells into fiction

blotting out over

& beyond the live flesh

& the cold shadow

of your hands









Peter Bies © 2010





Ohlsdorf Oblivion


“And this is how I sometimes think of myself, as a great explorer who has discovered some extraordinary land from which he can never return to give his knowledge to the world: but the name of this land is hell.”

— Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano







yellow tomb stone



silent shadow



in the late afternoon:



I feel cold transparent hands



against my brow –



something was missing



when the world was new:



God with green visions



mumbling to himself



about the wanting



leeches in the flock – – –



walking out of this world



I drew angry patterns



across the flat grey sky

















Peter Bies © 2010



Suburban Ghost Town


“Je préfère mon nouveau dégoût à l’ancien goût degoûtant. “

— Isidore Isou

(“I’d rather have my new distaste than the old distasteful taste”)




burning phosphenes/ bursting

out of space-time swept out of

deaf & senseless suffering & I

am dreaming up liquefied tales

& in hung-over suburban ghost

towns/ I’m trapped in my blunt

& tawdry/ reality/ chase/ deep

cortex throbbing/ in a sloooow

pulse – – – – – –





Peter Bies © 2010


Spectres of Prozac ®

“It slaked no thirst to say what love was like which came too late.”

— Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano







& loving me is a mental health hazard, Elaine


I kept you fighting loud proxy wars of love


in supermarkets, gas stations, in bleak


all-night drugstores & police stations


in parking lots & emergency rooms








I can hear your voice in my mind


like a hiss of serotonin static


our love a limbic tinnitus


of fear & anticipation


slowly cross-fading


colourful slides


on peeling









I watched the whispering infrared lights


sunk flush in your flesh

& beaming messages


high on ionized cell fluid,


we rode the gamma ray backwards in time


past a billion battlefields of the future











Peter Bies © 2010




Fall-Out Shelter of My Mind

“I’m not talking mystical ‘greater awareness’. I mean complete alert awareness of what is in front of you. LOOK OUT NOT IN. No talking to SO CALLED SELF.”

— William S. Burroughs




here’s another one out of sequence

here’s totally out of synch/

rich radio static & pieces of space

& pink noise prints in negative

& trance music stirring the senses

spool it off / splice it together!

swap voices & sort out my things

as I’m going about my 1 life

in what is to be the final days of the

world as we know it & I am

the last human robot to go/ & I’ll be

leaving all of my memory

snug in my self-imposed exile/ the

fall-out shelter of my mind/

here’s a base from which to operate

/ & I’ll be leaving all of

my mind stuff well on its way to

become subject matter

of dreams, art & history/ just as

I am beginning to put

faces to the cast of characters

starring in my nightmares

& – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –









Peter Bies © 2010



For How Long Still, Elaine


“The need of art for an objective correlative is perennial.”

— Wayne Shumaker, Literature and the Irrational




for how long still, Elaine
will I, your loyal prey,

seek comfort

in true time
& the smell of fresh, fragrant graves?

the twilight has died

like your lush, phosphene

after-image – – –

trying to recall & no words left:

are you my victimizer

or the goat being scaped?









Peter Bies © 2010


Glowing Mushrooms

Life feeds on negative entropy.

— Erwin Schrödinger




(for the sake of my
missing cause & empathy)

I seek out glowing mushrooms

radiant in the cold ancient sun


on broken plains & faded shores

of mean old cities – – –


the day is fleeing
into the jaundiced night


catching up

with the lovers










Peter Bies © 2010