Not brothers, Brother, though so mistook by others.
We lived as lovers seven unbloodied years.
It’s blasphemy, I know. But suppose after Jahweh
had denied his offerings of grain, Cain persuaded
Abel to toss aside the knife that had sliced
so many innocent throats and feast with him.
Or, seeing no lamb or goat on Mount Moriah,
Isaac unbound the ropes that tied him and fled
into the desert, there to find Ishmael
at home in lands the Old One didn’t own.
Or Jesus, declared not guilty at his trial,
combing his fingers through James’ hair, spared
nails, cross, spear, shocked to discover
no blood need be shed to love the world.
from To the Final Cinder, BrickHouse Books, 2013
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 What’s 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.