Bucephalus Rising

We howl at the overcast
evening skies
and we howl at the early
morning rain.
We run through the vacant lots
and recharge our batteries
with lightning bugs,
electric eels, old doorless
in the backwoods of the world.
In the backlots of the world,
we scream into the void,
we avoid the Noid,
we wander unemployed
onto film-sets with feathers
and bows and arrows.
War-paint on the shoulders
of our enemies
and on the foreheads of our
long-lost lovers.
With all-American red, white,
and blue stripes on our cheeks,
we cheat and cheer and chant:
With olive branches painted on
the noses of our
stealth bombers
we obliterate
the caves of the enemy.
We bomb them back
to the bronze age
as we spread American freedom,
democracy, hegemony, capitalism,
imperialism, greed.
We wear our stealth-button-down
shirts with trousers
and penny-loafers;
we sail through expressway
chainsaw tollbooths.
We stealthily throw our nickels
and dimes into the basket
and cruise straight on through
‘til morning.
When the morning hides
behind the unforeseeable
explosion of dark and light.
When morning comes
too late to be seen
by the early birds
or the five AM drunkards,
we wait until tomorrow
to reach for the heavens.

With circles under
our third eyes,
we enter fallout shelters
of distant, ancient gods.
No longer can we turn
and shield those eyes
from the brightness
of the radioactive starburst.
The starburst is the sky;
the starburst is everywhere.
Pink carnations replace
the clouds and drop early
morning rain:
drip, drip, drip.
The puddles grow
and swallow the storm-drains.
The drops bubble out
of the cast-iron man-hole covers.
Holes cast off their covers
as filth is enveloped by
the sewers of destiny
and disgrace.
In the fallout shelters
we eat canned beans
and fruit cocktail.
In the fallout shelters
we listen to our ham radios
and long for a connection
to the world.
In the fallout shelters
we wait.

We howl at the overcast
evening skies
and at the starburst
crazy dawn.
We scream in silence
and cover our ears.
We avert our eyes.
When will the dogs
fall down?
When will the horses
run free?
There’s a hole in the city
and its waiting for love.
The Gaslight Cinema
replaced by the ever-loving basement.
The great Gaslight Cinema
where we watched
Song of the South,
Davy Crocket,
Little Orphan Annie.
When will the basement
live happily ever after?
When will we see the stars?
With neon vacancy signs,
the neon motels of nostalgic
neon Route 66
summer vacations
are missing their neon
Hanging by a single nail,
swaying in the breeze, a
Burma Shave daydream.
Stop in for a cup of burnt coffee;
stop in for the blue
plate special.
Sleep in the Wigwams
of yesteryear.
Dive from Navajo Bridge
into the great white Colorado.
There’s nothing left to do
for miles, miles, miles
down the cross-country
highways of yesterday’s
greasy breakfast.
There’s nothing left to do
as we roll over
and find a cool home
in the sheets of
the warm August heat.

Night comes on quickly
in these Ozark hills.
Night comes on quickly
with the winding tick
of the blinding clock.
Up we run until the clock
strikes thirteen.
Down we fall again
and again and again.
In seconds we go
from burning sunshine
to scolding black.
When guillotine sunset
decapitates the horizon,
we cower in our foxhole
daemon basements.
When the noose of Port Royal
hangs enemies of
The East India Company
against the starless Caribbean night,
we hide behind cannonball
pyramid soundscapes.
How does the echo of thunder
lull us to sleep?
Why the crash of lightning
our night-light?
I will walk five hundred miles
through axillan cemetery dread.
I will walk on anxious tip-toes
until the ghosts of Eisenhower
cry in their axillan graves.
Will we ever like Ike again?
Will we ever
wave that flag?

We howl at the horses
running free in Ocracoke,
Shackleford, Currituck.
We weep while the Banker Ponies
wash their hooves
in the surf
and are themselves
washed away.
Fourth magnitude Alpha Equuelei
watches from her
dim distant perch.
She hides behind Pegasus
and neighs into the wind.
She hides behind
the wind itself.
And the wind blows
at the overcast
evening skies.
Richard Burton and Peter Firth
ride bareback through
the sands of Kitty Hawk
and Roanoke.
They climb to the perch
of The Bodie Island
and shine their First Order
toward the heavens.
It reflects in Alpha Equuelei
and bounces off of
the double Delta Equuelei
to beam back towards
those beaches of flight
and wind.
We wear our leather chaps
with fringe
and ten-gallon hats
as we howl with the horses.
As we ride into
the starburst sunset haze.
We wept at the grave of
and washed our hooves
and hands with the tears.
We washed the feet of
with the tears
and our manes.
We fill the half cup
with tears of sorrow
as we washed clean
the souls of those
wild-eyed equine beasts.

When the circles
under our third eye blink
back and become
tattooed and eternal,
when the tears flood the delta
and the great plains,
we ride into the sunset.
And where is Bucephalus?
Here comes Trigger
with the singing cowboy
and the hopes of a
whole generation.
Trigger without warning
gallops off the screen
and into our hearts.
And where is Blueskin?
Who carried George Washington
across the frozen Delaware
of dreams?
When George Washington dusted
his wig and ate
the firecakes of Valley Forge,
Blueskin watched
and ate ice chips.
We watch
and read the history books
and eat ice chips.
We dream of the glory
and howl at the overcast
evening skies.
With typhoid, dysentery,
lice, we sleep
within the early morning
and dream of glory
under overcast


Andre F. Peltier (he/him) is a Lecturer III at Eastern Michigan University where he teaches literature and writing. He lives in Ypsilanti, MI, with his wife and children. His poetry has recently appeared in various publications like CP Quarterly, About Place, and Fahmidan Journal. He loves improvisational music, his dog: Daisy, and Beach Party Movies. In his free time, he obsesses over soccer and comic books.