The First Poem I Ever Wrote by Peter Schjeldahl

BOMB 4 Fall 1982
004 Summer Fall 1982

It was the last day of filth grade, 1953. In the afternoon we went with our teacher to the town athletic field for a picnic and games. At some point I lay on the grass and looked at the sky. There was a hawk soaring around up there. This wasn’t unusual, but it gave me a strange feeling I sat up and started writing.

It was a poem in stanzas, and I knew it was a poem because it looked like one. All I remember of it is a one-line chorus that repeated after every stanza:

Winged avenger from the skies!

When the poem was finished I felt dazed. I took it to the teacher. She read it and said something like: “That’s nice, Peter very unpleasant What does it mean? What does the avenger want to avenge?”

I should have answered, “It wants to rip your throat out.” It was five or six years before I wrote my second poem.

Gray Pants by Rosemary Moore
​Jean Michel Basquiat
Three Stories by Maria Rapoport

Patty would slap stickers on her calf and ass cheeks to make herself stand out. Problem is, so would the other girls. I never did much of anything.

The Hilt by Gordon Lish

The pleasure Solovei took in the manner of Shea’s death, never mind that it was a suicide and Shea the very paradigm of what Solovei could not but help but helplessly think of whenever he, Solovei, had thought to set himself the meditation of what it must be to be the Gentile—oh so very big-boned, large-boned, heavy-boned, long and broad in all the central categories, the blithe inventor of every reckless declension, the very thing of this vexing life most lived.

Executrix by Barry Yourgrau
​Jane Kaplowitz

My hands are suddenly ice-cold. 

Originally published in

BOMB 4, Fall 1982

Georgia Marsh, Paul Bowles, Michael McClard, Olivier Mosset & Fred Brathwaite, and Duncan Hannah. Cover by Mary Heilmann.

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004 Summer Fall 1982