portion of the artwork for Peter Schwartz's poetry

Peter Schwartz’s Comments

These poems are an expression of my desire to be more than just a survivor of the american experience.

1. In “Songs,” in the first stanza, I’m talking about identity, how I listened to rap then metal music as I explored different countercultures. The second stanza is about the harmful products and medicines I was given back then. The third expresses my feelings of abandonment followed by vague desires for random possessions, signifying I still wanted to fit into society, but couldn’t because I didn’t have a job because I was too traumatized from the process to begin with.

2. “Quadrophobia” is the irrational fear of things coming in fours. This poem is the answer to “Songs for Machines That Won’t Work.” It’s about transformation and the dark nature of real transcendence. In the last line I say it directly, I want to be "something more than stamina".

3. “7 Laws” most directly attempts to describe the social process, the americanization of people’s souls that goes on here. The first stanza starts with a list of refusals followed by the demands that negate them. At the end, the narrator (me) realizes the limits of his idealism and sees the material world for what it really is.

4. “Realty” describes a few forms of the emotional terrorism the system employs to keep people in line. It’s also practical advice on how to use love to do more than just survive the american experience.

5. “Year of the Abominable Snowball Fight” is the climax poem, an answer to “Quadrophobia.” Here I talk more about the difficult nature of transcendence and about my personal power struggle with america. Like all of us, I’ve been told since birth that they’re the strong ones and I’m the weak. Rather than take that snowball to the face, I decided to search for a perspective that made me the strong one and them the weak. I came up with just one: I’ll haunt them. As for what a ghost is I’m not sure, but if it’s possible to will oneself into one then that’s what I’m doing. Thanks to FRiGG, the last literary journal I cared about getting work in. Thanks to everyone who has shown support over the years. Please buy my books by contacting me directly at publishingproject@hotmail.com.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 47 | Spring 2016