peter bakowski | seeing a beautiful girl in the streets and 5 other poems

26 11 2007

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Poetry Dispatch No.149 | January 9, 2007

Peter Bakowski - East Melbourne, Australia

Peter Bakowski is yet another writer I first discovered more than twenty years ago in The Wormwood Review. He wrote short, haiku-like poems then, with a contemporary edge. He’s continued to develop his work in different patterns since his early poems (see below), and he always brought a smile and/or a fresh way of seeing and thinking. I’ve rarely heard him mentioned on the American scene, though he is certainly known in the underground European literary culture.

He was always on my short-list of writers to contact/publish when I started Cross+Roads Press over ten years ago. Now it’s too late. He’s made the leap—as far as the literary subculture goes. Which is still nowhere for the serious, practicing poet. Yet somewhere. Norbert Blei

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Seeing a Beautiful Girl in the Streets

Her direction
becomes
your direction.

Navigating Insomnia

Columbus may have
discovered America
but I found
whiskey
behind the cornflakes
at 4 a.m.

Invention of the Umbrella

the idea
of the bicycle wheel
and the flower petal
married on a sketchboard
one rainy night.

Writer’s Block

They’ve gone and built a dam
right in the middle of my
stream of consciousness.

Observation Number Five

Ducks have got
just the right amount
of pride.

The History of Ripples

With hunger,
the idea
of bread
begins.

from: The Wormwood Review #136

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Peter Bakowski was born in Melbourne to Polish-German immigrants. His parents ran a delicatessen, and after completing his secondary schooling he worked in a series of low-paying jobs before opening his own record shop in the early 1980s.

He commenced writing poetry while travelling through Texas in 1983. His early works, including his first book Thunder Road, Thunder Heart (1988), show the influence of American Beat writers such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Charles Bukowski. His poems have appeared in over one hundred literary magazines worldwide, predominantly in English but also in Arabic, German, Japanese, Polish, Spanish and French. He has lived in Melbourne and London, and travelled widely throughout Australia, Europe, North America and Africa. His book In The Human Night won the 1996 Victorian Premier’s Poetry Prize.

Biblio

Thunder Road, Thunder Heart (Nosukumo Press, 1988)
In The Human Night (Hale & Iremonger, 1995)
The Neon Hunger (Oel Press, 1996)
The Heart At 3am (Hale & Iremonger, 1997)
Days That We Couldn’t Rehearse (Hale & Iremonger, 2002)

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