from Book of Conceptual Anarchy

p
o
e
m
s

From random atoms

floating around the cosmos

14 billion years ago,

you have to admit

we humans, as a species,

have come pretty far.

We have this thing we call intelligence,

and then this self-consciousness thing.

We are pretty much all set,

or are we?

With this in hand,

humans not only have been able

to ponder on the inner workings

of the cosmos,

build a civilization

that supports 7 billion beings,

but to realize,

in the deepest and most intimate sense,

that it is ultimately

a pile of cosmic shit.

Peter Payack has lived on the Left Bank of the Charles River for some forty years, and was Cambridge's first Poet Populist. In addition to bathroom walls, Peter Payack's poems can be found in The Paris Review, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and sandblasted into the floor of the Davis Square Subway Station on Boston's Red Line. His poetic innovation Phone-a-Poem, recordings, selected papers and realia were recently archived in Harvard University's Woodberry Poetry Room.

You Might Also Enjoy

Nervous Ashers

David Berman

There were mountain huts full of smallpox strung out along the hillsides between Escatawpa and Morgan City, birds boiling up. . .

stories

Outside My Window

Rick Perlstein

Outside my window: a gray day in Ann Arbor. Two cops—in shorts, on bicycles—glide by. A roiling sea of blue and gold middle-aged. . .

stories

Late Style

Brandon Kreitler

They pile the barley in stacks and the unspoken halves / are greater. The season is an ongoing industry now . . .

poems

Baffler Newsletter

New email subscribers receive a digital copy of our current issue.

Further Reading

Heads Up: We recently updated our privacy policy to clarify how and why we collect personal data. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this policy.