Poems Written on the Backs of Receipts Peter Nelson-King I. I found this pen in a parking lot— same with a few of these receipts. I haven’t bought a pen in years. Is this real living? II. I have to be narrow this receipt is sticky Bly wrote that tiny poems read by those who can understand them make the reader soar above sharp rocks. Am I soaring, my fingertips stuck to old paper? III. In between writing* I’ve been reading in public. (*writing in public) A bright young man comes up asks what I’m reading smiles through his mask; before he leaves he asks if he can “pray over me.” I wonder if I look pliable or if I look damned. IV. This receipt was trampled on buckled over itself like a fainted dancer. It probably doesn’t think it’s worth the ink this is written in. V. When Harmony Korine made Trash Humpers he considered leaving tapes of the film in the street, free, abandoned. If I let these leaves blow away, escape in the wind, would anyone read them?
Peter Nelson-King is active as a classical musician in the Seattle area, playing in large ensembles on trumpet and mounting solo and small group concerts on trumpet, piano and voice. His major artistic focus is in discovering unjustly neglected artists in many mediums from the past and promoting them for new audiences. He is also a composer and writer, including editing the poetry anthology The New Pagans.