Peter Weltner ~ On My Birthday

In a dream of home: the window that breaks
and gushes blood, the room that takes
old wounds to furnish, the battered door
that will not shut and slams for more,
the tub that spills like rain filled lakes.

It is my birthday that year makes
me visit them to fix mistakes,
the locks resistant as before
in a dream of home.

Mower, hoe, trowel, shovel, rake.
I’ve gardened the years for my father’s sake.
And for my mother, the annual chore
of polishing the parquet floor,
each square laid down with heartache
in a dream of home.


from The Outerlands, BrickHouse Books, 2012

Peter Weltner has published six books of fiction, including The Risk of His Music and How the Body Prays, and, in 2017, The Return of Whats Been Lost, five poetry chapbooks, among them The One-Winged Body and Water’s Eye (both in collaboration with the artist Galen Garwood), and six full length collections of poetry, News from the World at My Birth: A History, The Outerlands, To the Final Cinder, Stone Altars, Late Summer Storm in Early Winter (with photographs and paintings by Galen Garwood), and most recently The Light of the Sun Become Sea.  He and his husband live in San Francisco by the ocean.

Danse Macabre is proud to name Peter Weltner our 2017 Artist-in-Residence. May our dedicated Macabristas delight in his wondrous poetics in both DM and DM du Jour throughout the year – and heartfelt thanks to Peter for his generosity in sharing his artistry with us.



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