Issue 18: Peter Jay Shippy
(Tom Raworth Memorial)

The Metamorphosis

When time travel became possible the machines could only go backwards. So we cleared our prisons. Sent those no-goodniks back to the Neolithic where they developed farming which led to the domestication of cattle and pigs, the invention of the wheel, mathematics, and pottery which led to smelting, writing and cities, Persepolis, which led to casting, forging and steel, the Hebrew bible and the Vedas, which led to the Sphinx and Greece and Rome, the Tang, the Inca, and Aztec, which led to revolutions, Galileo and Newton, American and French, which led to punk rock, Boston, 1979, where my grandfather slammed into my grandmother at a Black Flag concert, which led to me, under my covers, shivering, fifteen, reading this book somehow written about me.

Peter Jay Shippy is the author of 4 books. The most recent is A spell of songs (Saturnalia Books). About that book, John Yau wrote, 'One day, not long ago, Meret Oppenheim walked past Edward Hopper in Paris, and an electric current passed between, and from that current was born Peter Jay Shippy....' Twice his work has appeared in The Best American Poetry Series. He teaches at Emerson College.