Friday, December 19, 2014


Look, pa, I got a bone
to bury with you. I dug

your grave all day just to do it
well. I practiced. Like you

taught me. With bruises
on my lips I sang elegy.

I remembered you that time
we all went to Christmas

tree shopping together.
I had isopropyl breath,

but yours stank like hearse.
Momma got mugged

by that hoodie fellow
that night. In ma’s head

she keeps getting mugged.
Glad you made her feel

something if not better.
We took the tree home

on the train. The cadets
and bachelorettes admired

its pine needles. You were on
something, onto something:

they wanted the sticky of sap,
they didn’t care nothing

if we got lost or trapped.
We found exits. Were you sure

we should take all of them
at once? I think it’s best

if you leave now. I think
it’ll be easier to get this

over with. I’ve got a shovel,
I can save you the trouble

of saving yourself. Lord
knows neither of us

would last very long
sitting canned on a shelf.

— Peter Burzynski

Peter Burzynski is a second-year PhD student in Creative Writing-Poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a M.F.A. in Poetry from The New School University, and a M.A. in Polish Literature from Columbia University. 

In between his studies, Peter has worked as a Sous-Chef in New York City and Milwaukee. His poetry has appeared in The Best American Poetry Blog, Yes Poetry, Thrush Poetry Review, Your Impossible Voice, The Unrorean, BORT Quarterly, Hobo Pancakes,The Great Lakes Review, Kritya, Bar None Group, Zombie Logic Review, Souvenir Lit Journal, White Stag Journal, and Fuck Poems Anthology. He has poems forthcoming from RHINO, Prick of the Spindle, The Mackinac, The Portland Review, and Forklift Ohio.

Marplot is the second of four Peter Burzynski poems that the Bar None Group will feature over the course of four months — poems that touch on Christmas, winter and, in the eyes of this reader, the debauchery that is Mardi Gras in New Orleans. We first met Peter at the 2011 Academy of American Poets Awards Ceremony in New York City where he shared with us his poem, Cemetery.

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