The Autobiographical Struggle of Trader Riley
    Peter H. Conners
It's just you and me now. I want to carve bullets out of your skin. I am amazed at the suppleness of your emotion. In any event, it's just you and me. Let's dream. My fingers sprint at your holiness. Attack thirst quenched in 10,000 tears. It's all true, you will never leave me. Neither of us would let that happen. In any event, we can't. Please. To work! We met on a suburban rooftop. It was night, summer: time of gulped promises. Hook Line and Sinker, as they say. But I resent the necessity of them. But, ah. You drilled me so hard I'm still sitting. Trying to drill you back. I've draped the corpses of a thousand dead relationships over you to keep you warm, alive. A mass of raw nerve tips. One in a million sentences, a stew of tender flesh. Buttery lips and all. Torn and bitter. You lead me down blind paths, laughing. Revolt is impossible. Complete revolution or immediate death aren't choices at all! Ah, but stroke my brow: visions of a weeping rose. Now all is forgiven and this row of succulents proves our love. As they say, all is fair. But to work! They never understood as anyhow. And this is where the story gets good.

A Letter To My Love

    Peter H. Conners
This is generous of me, he said. Far beyond what most men would undertake. I am killing myself slowly weekend by weekend for you, he explained. There is a dialogue going on between us that you are not a part of. You will not allow yourself to see certain things, he said, so I am killing myself a little at a time to show you those things. Behold, this is what a future dead man looks like. See I am dead. See my pallor. How waxen. It is like a dandelion no one cares about. This is my metaphor, so pay close attention: I have been a dandelion no one cares about spraying myself with toxins to make me die until you came along with pig-tails bouncing and picked me and set me in a spaghetti sauce jar on your windowsill that light shines through and sometimes you touch me to your neck to test for butter compatibility and ticklishness but giggling you see this proves it: I ramble on so because I am a young man and always dying. There are signs. You will see it first in my lack of sympathy for myself and others. Dying men are always cruel. Oh how cruel they can be. And then I will turn inward and grasp for any lingering tangibles and then, finally, give up the ghost. When I am dead you will read back through this and someday you will understand that I loved you so much as to kill myself so slowly so that would understand what I meant when I said that there are communications taking place between us that you will not allow yourself to understand. Do you now? Oh, my love my love. My sweet love is like a broomstick wrapped around your hair, gently sweeping.

Peter H. Conners' poetry and fiction have appeared most recently in Beloit Fiction Journal, and, Comstock Review. In December 2000 he was awarded 1st place in Black Bear Publications' annual Poems of Social Concern poetry competition. He has two completed novels which are under representation by the Linda Roghaar Literary Agency and maintains a website:

In Posse: Potentially, might be ...