In his sixth full-length publication, poet Andrew K. Peterson folds cyclical and repeating composition practices in this adventurous tête-bêche double book. Scorpio Journal is composed during the titular zodiac sign’s governing dates, inspired by the Scorpio personality’s fascination with autumnal moodiness, directness, and joy. Secret Equinox pushes back against “The Springtime Industrial Complex” while anticipating and accepting change between Spring/Summer solstices. Peterson’s time-based journals attend to the daily ephemeral while reflecting a multi-versed sense lurking in deep rhythms of pattern-thought.
Scorpio Journal is Andrew K. Peterson’s magickal, lyrical journey through the glorious rituals of the fall. These poems sweep the reader into the swirling sights and sounds of the beauty of the world as it journeys into winter. Peterson chronicles each day as he dreams them in waking hours and with a music and rhythm all his own – a cadence that mimics the slow march of fall into winter. What is the sound of one leaf falling? Who are the poetic lights of our secret history he honors and alludes to, as days shorten and darkness of December approaches? His experiences of the season are immediate; spontaneously written, yet refined and articulate in their pure celebration of the joys and the mysteries of Scorpio time. Andrew’s autumnal vision recalls the lyrics to a country song that stick in my mind, “Corn’s turned brown, leaves fall to the ground, it’s a sound that sticks like glue.” These poems stick in your mind as they fall to the ground.
A Letter from Jared Hayes re:
andy how do you know a poem
sometimes conceptual sometimes confessional
many times both yr voice a clear reminder
so i always imagine you reading these to me
eyes over glasses or thru
but head tilted
lips tilted to
at the corners
yr mind is dancing with mine
brilliant the vision and diverse the processes
loud and soft
maps of the mind and sounds of lists or lists with sounds
together in happiness some o’hara some teddy ballgame (berrigan)
some kyger on high with a tumbling laughing
you know how to converse and so level with love
love is the level at which you do yr best leveling
new constructions of discarded words found and given shine
the movements are met and micro too
time being placed in narrative in one
the next holding time over and over again with a comma
how together we are in yr poems
i always come up short trying to tell you about yr books
i copy/photo so many and try and think of an arc to
repeat to you to reveal the secrets yr pomes share with me
only to be here then outside of the book
when really it is most pleasant to be in the book!
the diversity of form
is always so pleasing because of yr loving kindness to language
to the planet of plants and xxxxxxxxx soulx…
to have the pleasure of the micro poem to poem
one time smiling with my tongue or feeling with my eyes
the play and seriousnesses throughout i am yr reader
i feel so many lineages and nods and appreciations in these - - -
yet they are you… all you…
elegant wit and grace
and my favorite poem in this one is
but you probably clve guessed that
Past Praise for Andrew K. Peterson
Andy Peterson’s poetry combines visual art, both his own and some found elsewhere in the universe, with words redolent of mystery, thrillers, clues and riddles, and does so in a far more intelligent and sustaining way than present popular literature — while not adopting any sense of “superiority” to same.
Intra-species, foaming, future-soaked, and with a “metallic corsage” delicately sewn to the wrist, the figures in Peterson’s poems come to get you. And they do. They get you and take you somewhere until: “we are all here together in our new place.”
Peterson has given us poems for the chaos and swirl of life, intertwined with the delicious and glittering beauty of the world. His expert wordplay makes you dizzy with wonder, while, calling out disturbances and losses, death, rebellion, collapse, heartbreak, and disappearances of all kinds.
I feel so grateful… exhilarated by what poetry can do, by what Andy Peterson does as a poet. I want to say it is like assemblage, but it’s so much deeper than that: a kind of cinema of relation.
Andrew K. Peterson is the author of five full-length poetry books and several chapbooks, most recently A Blue Nocturne Notebook (Spuyten Duyvil, 2021) and Three-Way Street, a poetry correspondence collaboration with Jared Hayes and Reed Bye (Turnsol Editions, 2021). His 2017 chapbook The Big Game Is Every Night was mailed to the White House alongside other publications from Moria Books’ politically-based Locofo Chaps series to collectively protest the previous administration’s policies and rhetoric. A previous chapbook Bonjour Meriwether and the Rabid Maps (Fact-Simile Press, 2011) was featured in an exhibition on poets’ maps at the Univ. of Arizona’s Poetry Center. In 2017 he was a co-organizer of the Boston Poetry Marathon event. He was a cofounding editor of the literary journal summer stock, and currently lives in Boston. Say hi at andrewkpeterson.com, and Instagram @akpitros.