John Peacock



Now an art school,
neo-geo expressionists
wield blow torches
in the old ticket window.
Clay is thrown,
live nudes pose
where once, in the real world,
only statues stood.

The tower clock is stopped at noon.
This train is always boarding,
destinationless, arrivé,
but the track is kept in good repair,
and sometimes even an old freight appears
under the rusted iron shed.

Steam billows,
the locomotive throws massive shadows,
and the afternoon sun is flat
on bright cars from Santa Fe.

In cab and caboose
sit soot-faced engineers and switch men.
One glances up from his ancient girlie magazine
at a drawing class in progress
on the platform:

green and orange mohawks bend over sketch books,
young men with pierced lobes and nostrils,
women in combat boots wearing outer-underwear
and a bearded model in knee-length leather



John Peacock (Harvard B.A., Columbia Ph.D.) is Rinehart Critic-in-Residence and Professor of Language, Literature, and Culture at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore. He is a former Wesleyan University Mellon Fellow, University of Antwerp Fulbright Lecturer, and grantee of the American Philosophical Society and the Montgomery Council Maryland Arts and Humanities Council. His essays have appeared in New Art Examiner, Literature/Film Quarterly, and Ethnohistory. His fiction has appeared in Gulf Stream Magazine, and his poetry in Fourteen by Four and the Takoma and Silver Spring Voice newspapers in Montgomery County, MD. An enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation in Fort Totten, North Dakota, his writing in English and the endangered Dakota language has been exhibited at the Minnesota History Center and published in American Indian Quarterly and in Studies in American Indian Literatures.


Published in Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 2007.