Peter Valente


ISBN 978-1-944682-37-8       $40.00       252 pages

Intro to Blue

Joyce Freitag



What is masturbation to the mouth?


Striated wrinkled pink. Turned at the corner like to express we think. The mouth opens and emits a blue base.


Mouth has handles. You could pry it open and move its parts, articulating the whole jaw. A lawn mower? Am I a man thinking such things? Or, is an image of masturbation all I need to become many voices?


Slowly delete the man not as cruelty but to get into her thought patterns, soft, even as her body builds. A lurch in the future. Foreground all strokes with this one intent:





to the swami of

desire rings the bell.


Even as a woman I know the phallic remuneration of gold, the translation of sight to the receiver of being in shadow.


Even as a woman I know the cavern and carrion tangle. Braid my hair til a broad bridge. Til best grip idea a reflexive render a toy or hand by which I might warble. Certainly I keep in mind he warbles too. As a bird pecking at the eyes of doves when they are being taken out of the doves as a couple of marbles.


The round and rolling things return me to waves that knee up to the silken shore then slide to the blue depths and shadows again down.


She was trying to get to a shore she didn’t know was blue til she got there. She followed a storm through the rush of a desert into a luxurious blue ocean.


Or bath water not from earth but a myth either the water smooth on the length of the boat where rudder quifs itself for direction.


Protect the deep dive to find what is hidden between the lips. Hold it back til the tongue twitches. Give in until all governance fades and wade, walk, run, swim. Aspire to new depths through the inspiration of body to articulation.


And return to the curve that leads to the hole. If there were a story here it would be the moist couch from sweat at my back turns the hard wrack soft, lets me lean further into the stance, step in radiant swirl.


When I was tired he took pictures of mine. I wasn’t posed but resting or trailing off to sleep inside the bed…



Peter Valente is the author of A Boy Asleep Under the Sun: Versions of Sandro Penna  (Punctum Books, 2014),which was nominated for a Lambda award, The Artaud Variations (Spuyten Duyvil, 2014), Let the Games Begin: Five Roman Writers (Talisman House, 2015), a book of photography, Street Level (Spuyten Duyvil, 2016), and the chapbook, Forge of Words a Forest (Jensen Daniels, 1998). He is the co-translator of the chapbook, Selected Late Letters of Antonin Artaud, 1945-1947 (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2014), which includes six of Artaud’s letters, and has translated the work of Luis Cernuda, Gérard de Nerval, Cesare Viviani, and Pier Paolo Pasolini, as well as numerous Ancient Greek and Latin authors. Forthcoming is a translation of Nanni Balestrini’s Blackout (Commune Editions, 2017) and a book of photography, Blue (Spuyten Duyvil, 2017). His co-translation of 33 of Artaud’s late letters with an introduction by Stephen Barber is forthcoming from City Lights. He is presently at work on a book for Semiotext(e). His poems, essays, and photographs have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as Mirage #4/Periodical, First Intensity, Aufgabe, Talisman, Oyster Boy Review, and spoKe. His work has also been published or is forthcoming online in Talisman, The Poems and Poetics Blog, Oyster Boy Review, Jacket2, Sibilia, The Recluse, Dispatches From the Poetry Wars, the Verso Books blog, and Something on Paper. In the late 1990s, he co-edited the poetry magazines Vapor/Strains and Lady Blizzard’s Batmobile and wrote articles on jazz for the Edgewater Reporter. In 2010, he turned to filmmaking and has completed 60 shorts to date, 24 of which were screened at Anthology Film Archives.