Robert Peake

Question 1

This is a line,
this is another,
this is a third,
now form a career
based upon hyperbole
and a weak [at
best] attitude to correcting
their assumptions.

Country,
BlueGrass,
Blues.
Never a writer,
always a showman [at
best]. Let John Holstrom
copy Will Eisner
in creating a road

to ruin, built on family
matters. I heard
about the
Easter Bunny,
did you? I mean,
it’s a pretty
wonderful
world.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1

Yes, I heard. In the mumbling of crickets. Tell them
to make a career of chanting, and let the stars hold up
their placards, eject a weak link from the grasslands.

I pour the antidote into a blue glass of milk, carry it
down the aisle. Bystanders consider this performance art.
Draw back the veil and kiss me under the flash bulb.

I can always say I was joking, say it wasn’t really me.
In these parts, they beat court jesters, don’t they?
My motto: all truth, all slant, all the time.

Or your money back.

– Robert Peake

Question 2

I would catch the fly
and live homeless on promised
land, across the Pacific
Railroad.

“Perserverance as novelty”
they suggested, “hobohemia
for the ages.” I’m not sure I
believe

in Kansas, two taps, but I’d
like to give it a shot. How about
you? Where is home, your
heart?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

The mist occludes my sight most mornings.
This does not mean I dwell within a cloud.

I have hungered for the desert, returned
to find an entirely new population of sand.

If Buddha dwells in the gap between thoughts,
who fixes His roof, who stokes the stove?

I have learned to love my thoughts, even when
they turn against me. Let me fold a paper boat

for us to float on puddles until swamped.

– Robert Peake

Question 3

Rendered as a denial of service, I’ve been hoarding man
uscripts like I hold
evenings alone – untampered, unseen, unwanted
silence. Do you kill your

darlings? Do you let them slip the
echo, breach? I’m running

guarded for the inevitable heat death of the
universe, burning
empires and Achilles so I can be
render my heel immortal. I would
ride to Mysia, deliver my scribe,
enter anew world that does not want me.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

The wound is deep in the circuit’s breach;
the wound will not go away. We dwell in it.
Flip the switch on cyber warfare in your mind.

One one side of the wound, we write, drawing
blood in which to bathe for eternal youth.
We ride on bright amniotic lightning.

The far side of the wound is darker, bruised
an orchid purple from endless worrying.
Here the drone armies whirr conspiracy.

One agency is hoarding exploits against you.
Another firewalls off your best laid plans.
You see how we tear the sutures, scratching?

The wound is buried far from algorithm’s reach;
we dwell within the wound and will not go away.
Close the loop, and let the current scream.

Send out your little machines on virus limbs.
Somewhere, a host will take to the infection.
We need every kind of sickness to be healed.

– Robert Peake

Question 4

They performed a laparotomy, needed to give me
the dirt. Sixx Sixx Sixx, shouting at the devil
tearing my body apart. Peritonitis as an excuse
to ingest bass lessons, take track five from album
five before every meal. Symptoms may include
pen and paper. Treliske – to change my life. Has
your path ever altered? They could cut me open
every day, if this is the result.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 4

What I thought was a path turned out to be
where the river had abandoned its landscape.

The portcullis spikes slide into well-worn places.
How dark a red leaf, evacuated of chlorophyll.

Where is my mother? Her shopping trolley abandoned.
How bright the glint of a scalpel under surgical lights.

She reminds me to keep breathing, though my lungs
give back only sea-foam, specked pink with anemones.

What I thought was the path turned out to be
just this breath, and this breath, and this.

– Robert Peake

Question 5

Floating unaided, held together by felt and glitter,
there’s luminescence in my corner. Strength
in the form of a girl who doesn’t care for poetry
but forgets that she is all of my descriptions
bundled up and kept in a secret pact. She is
nine tenths of the sun’s warmth. A reason
to believe in Aztec Gods. A beacon for our cats
to romance her and forget I exist for anything
but food. Have you got a light when the power
cuts out? She is more than the charms, and I feel
her glow caress me when I’m weak. There are
reasons to kill demons now I’ve woke to
a turquoise smile.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 5

“Instead of so many elegies to the dead,
you should write more love poems to the living.”
-Marvin Bell, admonishing me

It is not the clockmaker, who keeps his own time,
in a pop-up shop next door to my pineal gland,
who reminds me with clanging bells and the insistent
clatter of gears wearing down their own teeth,

but a curl-headed mermaid, replete with shell bra
who clatters up the stairs with saucer and cup.
She looks bright in bad weather, including my own,
so lifebuoy be damned, one dry thought in a downpour

is enough to keep your head above pooling ink,
its come-hither sheen and indelible longing.
She pulls back my monk’s hood, spilling daylight
on the tonsured duomo of my steam-coughing brain.

She bids the black dog heel, though it still
walks beside us. Sometimes, she tosses a stick.

– Robert Peake

Question 6

When I started these interviews,
these correspondences,
I always wrote about home
or the lack thereof.
Some gnawing doubt
that I would never find a warm bed
somewhere within a safe space.
I wrote a whole series
about St Day Road
where I grew up,
turned it into a short film.
Moved onto Richards Crescent –
which I work through at night now.
Will find myself in Mitchell Court
soon.
I think I’ve found home,
here in a place on the outskirts
of Truro.
In a place I don’t care to live
with a girl I will always a love
and a child I will soon meet.
I guess home really is where the heart
is,
not where the luxuries exist.
So tell me, Robert,
where is home to you?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 6

Home is the place I never write. When what was once familiar now feels strange, that is the strangest feeling of all. Who are these people, carrying their duke on a litter, and lions in cages to release into the chambers of the Senate? How can I look them in the eye, and say the word, “countrymen”? Home is any place our animal selves can defend. Home is a wall, when you are within it. Between wanderlust and home-longing, a soul is forged. One day the decision to exhale will be final. Meanwhile, we choose our leaders based on how much they frighten our enemies. How quick we were to judge those who could not turn back the gears of history. We forget with each new birth the necessity of kindness, bursting from our mothers’ wounds, already smeared with blood. The slate is dusted clean by galactic clock-makers who see the near-collision of planets as a quaint, irresistible game. We have exhausted the gamut of possibilities. Now the tumblers fall into place within the lock. The lies that sound like common sense are painted in ever-larger letters overhead. (Since the truth is a footnote for scholars and other élites.) Let the record show: I was exiled years after I left.

– Robert Peake