Poetry by Peter Surkov

from Pinky Says to Brain

I. Nostalgia

Brain, I remember an itch in the primitive groove that drove me

excitable with irritation

————slow going since then

Brain, I remember

——————the midwife wrenched as the doctor blessed:

—-“Your love set down in surety, and brown sugar

—–amphetamine to tired gums”


II. Hobbies

Brain, if candid——–self’s forgetting

what to do with self

who’s happiest when sick

& lying in bed

—————————with mind half dead

with body sprawled

—————————-in the breeding images


of girls & boys of perpetual freshness

recalling nothing

of self, of name, of place

———but dizzied sense I am


or lain absorbing

the plants’ cool life

——————watered by capital

with tendrils curled            to light, the roots


unfurling round feet


III. Pinky Watches Horses

Brain, I have seen horses

——–how they came in the back of a truck

————————-how loosed from their huddle they run

——–how as they run they bite

Brain, I have seen horses



IV. Diversion

Brain, my colleagues

ask that you convey their thanks

———————————–to the suicide.

He passed

a gift—— to an uneventful workplace.


They think of him

at zero hour,

——–clouds in his head, his feet

among fermenting apples

his redhead boy kicks through.


V. Pinky Won’t Listen

Brain, I will hear nothing
of mystery, of women.

Brain, I will hear nothing
of strangers drowning
in the gorgeous Adriatic.

Brain, I will hear nothing
but know god is a face
that looks at itself through the glass.

Brain I will hear nothing
but that a ham sandwich
brings death and rebuke

and that aching bodies must sleep.

Peter Surkov (@_surkov) is an ex-marketeer and current medical student. Originally from London, he is now based in the English Midlands.

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