Issue 87: Allan Peterson


About Allan Peterson

A visual artist and poet, the most recent of Allan Peterson’s six books is This Luminous, New and Selected Poems, a finalist for the Oregon Book Award.  Some other titles include Precarious, a finalist for the Lascaux Prize; All the Lavish in Common, Juniper Prize; and Fragile Acts, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His third book, As Much As, was published by Salmon Press, Ireland

His work has appeared in magazines such as: Agni, A Public Space, The Nation, The Gettysburg Review, The Paris Review, Blackbird, The Believer, The Rumpus, Zyzzyva, as well as internationally. No social media, but his website is:, stop by. Other links and publications can be found there.

A Profile of the Author

Notes on "Marksman" and "Anxiety"

A poem is a developing revelation. I do not know where a poem will go, nor do I want to. What would be the fun. This one started with those first few lines imagining a baby me looking up at I know not what. It acquired ideas that came together by reveries w/o attempting to create a narrative. The vision that developed is excited, curious, and optimistic, not unlike my current state, dec-ades later. In imagining inner thoughts and expectations, I could speak both as observer and participant. The accruing connections to the initial ideas were sometimes surprising, but I trust such jumps. The final line, that occurred spontaneously while working on something else a few days later, added a per-fect note of futurity.

Music, Food, Booze, Tattoos, Kittens, etc.

Long a vegetarian, I don’t eat my animal friends, so many of whom I’ve admired over the years. I think I have an especially good reputation among turtles, having saved so many from highway compressions. If the question was “why did the turtle cross the road,” the answer would be: because Allan carried me there.

Beer and desert are fine combinations. Black Boss is a particularly delicious Polish porter. Cheesecake and pecan pie pair well. No music when I’m writing, otherwise Blues and Baroque.

Issue 87

“Marksman” and “Anxiety” by Allan Peterson

“Marksman”   Whoa look at that A sweat bee big as a warbler It could mean that the terror is true after all and it’s all your fault Robert Oppenheimer … Read more

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