Featured Talent: John Peterson at Naomi’s Hallmark 9/11/2011

Metaphysics and the Extension Service
  by John Peterson


You let the bluegills have their way,
said Mrs. Becker, the county extension agent,
you give them everything bluegills want,
and you’ll have a lot of bluegills.
Oh, you’ll have a lot of bluegills.


There won’t be any size to them.
You won’t have fun catching them.
No, she said, to make bluegills worth the fishing
you need something to kill bluegills.
You need large mouth bass.


Well, isn’t it just our old reliable partner,
annihilation, this time a fish-faced aspect of the destroyer god,
but its opposite as well — better angling?
I considered writing an article on farm ponds
but couldn’t decide whether to focus


on bass or bluegills, destroyer or creator,
then I remembered watery places hidden in open country,
kids sitting on a limestone pillar
in a quarry filled with deep, deep blue water,
and how Rachel stripped and let swarms of tiny sunfish


nibble the fine hairs on her legs,
and how at the end of summer she broke up with me.
I was destroyed, and I was elated.
That reminded me I should write a poem
about love and its opposite, love,


which brought up other old projects —
a long piece on childhood, all those improbable novels,
a new patio with mosaics, my blueprints
for the world’s first submarine canoe —
too many plans bumping around in my head losing energy and size.


I need the equivalent of large mouth bass,
an idea killer, a new religion or an old certainty,
a throwing-away machine of some kind.
Or be glad for tiny sunfish, considering Mrs. Becker’s strategy
when all else fails — start over, drain the pond.




––John Peterson has worked as a newspaper reporter, a creative writer for Hallmark Cards for nearly 20 years, and currently as a freelance copywriter. His poetry and fiction have been published in Poet & Critic magazine, The Wapsipinicon Almanac (http://www.wapsialmanac.com/), and other small journals. He lives in Kansas City, MO, with his wife and critters.


We are excited to feature John at our upcoming reading.  Join us from 4-6 pm on 9/11/2011 at Naomi’s Hallmark to hear more of his work.

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