Summer 2005

Peter Sears


Peter Sears Peter Sears won the Peregrine Smith Poetry Competition in 1999 and his book, The Brink (Gibbs Smith Publishers, 2000), then won the 2000 Western States Book Award in poetry. The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor, Field, Mother Jones, The New York Times, and Saturday Review are among his poetry publications. He lives in Corvallis, Oregon.
No Problem

Look, if my neighbor says he heard screaming last night
coming from here, no problem, officer, I believe him.
Yes, I sit most of the day by this window that faces
his place. I can't help but see that things aren't good
for him. I'm not going into it, no�and I wouldn't
respect anyone who did�but hey, someone with lights
on all night, and that sound coming from his place.
Sure sounds like a scream to me. But, hey, what
do I know? Like I said, I like the guy, I don't want
to go into it. Just let me say, though, that you
can go out of your head and hear screaming from
somewhere�but where? Could be anywhere,
right?�when it's really coming from you, yes you,
and by the time you hear it, the scream is way out there.



It's Shifts Of Sideways If She Talks To You

For the teenager certain she is ugly, it's shifts
of sideways if she talks to you. Words
drop out of her mouth. She tries to get behind herself

and squeeze down
to a gash in the ground.
Oh she would love to roll from her skin

and disgust you. And stick it, yeah, to your candy pity.
She takes a deep breath
and throws her hair around like rocks.



Peter Sears: Poetry
Copyright © 2005 The Cortland Review Issue 29The Cortland Review