Epistle To Michael #1


All yr pacing to & fro

Across the Party floor

You: with yr Eternal

Quest for rare earth

In our damaged & filthy house

You: of Dream Puzzle

Man of God

Enemy of Mystery

Why can’t Mystery just be?

Don’t you fear that?

With the End of Mystery:

  • God
  • Will
  • Parish

    —P.E. Tottenham


             Sesuit Neck, South Dennis, MA


©2018 teagown records


“2018 AD: Slow Work Under the Gun”

Tresna is intended

To be read in a left to right margin scan.

And yet, it follows these days that a

Distracted, incredulous attitude is the norm.

It is default; even for that rapidly dwindling

Tribe of mangy, feral, metaphor-mad text zealots.

More commonly known as:

The Literary Crowd; it’s merely

Standard, baseline response.

In my case it merely indicates

The pedigree of a full-blooded

American. And let me assure you,

My comrades, this is a red, rich blood

Filled proudly with a potent mixture

Passed down to me by my very own

Salt of the earth ancestors of

Irish, English, Polish, &

Italian ethnicity.

Slash me open—American

Through & through—

Through & through:

All the dirt piles

Of vagrant plots

Against vacant lots;

We all, the small ones,

Seen them…from

Top our “War Hill”!

Granite, maple, bramble, &

Pine rococo tangle.


(We boys of gawk; Shelton “shit-talk”;

Plastic gun squawk; sole treasure

Cached in cracks inside hill’s rock: 

Pulped, gacked, and hacked

Pages jacked from mag porn

A vintage of damp, decaying,

And degrading…)


O! Plastic, yellow, & ubiquitous

Whiffle balls & bats! What set us kids 

To slashing! Clubbing around, game or not,

Honing our violence on trees, big rocks, dirt,

Brothers, cousins,—and sisters!

And quite often ourselves. Now take note:

The world famous Whiffle Ball Corp.

Shares my Shelton hometown 

(South Connecticut).

In elementary school my friend, Mike Padilla, had

Whiffle factory as closest neighbor…

Can you imagine.

That creek running behind his house!

Trudged through it in heat haze

Looking for frog babies.

One time floating toward us

On shallow creek at surface

In melancholy meander: Whiffle balls.

These balls were mutants; the fugitive grotesque.

Whiffle black-ops debacle.

Hollow, plastic black orbs of various shade

And size—And—

Well. I wanted gone with this.

Blame for New England-style

“Damage” & “Brokenness.”

(Had seed of theory featuring Nathaniel

Hawthorne, Hester, Dimmesdale.)

Kept brief: End Transmission

—P.E. Tottenham


Near Scargo, Dennis, Massachusetts


“Roman Comment Misheard”

“Caligari killed Caligula,”

Someone said

With Coliseum lust.

Ergot Bread & Circus

Decayed legions, cohorts

Manic carmina decoro

With three expelled

All ears prick up

The Chorus lips slick

Wet with cuss

Fifth Columns in the colonies

Are only long con

Colonnaded forgery imposters

Only marble left to see:

The cattle carcassed

Grassy sea…

Her Sicilian lover

No lupara cover

And he’ll never

Fill her whole


The love she told

And the love she made

Just a Tuscany bird

Now flown away

The love she believed, left

Unkissed, left to bleed just a

Roman comment misheard.


—P.E. Tottenham


Sesuit Neck, Dennis, MA


“The Bottle Toom Sequel” (Rough Draft #ad05241974 in progress)


“You’ve been held.
Obsessively since adolescence.
And this— This is the
Acme-appateaser - ”
“Oh! And - you’re my personal
Source of hot, creeping dread.
And the Cobb Sal - Oh, perfect!
Midge has your meat!”ϒÐ
“I mean she’s brought out –
Oh, you’re welc - uh,
The meat plate
For you.
For me!”
(server, after some kind of overly long pause,
effortlessly flashes what may be the most beguilingly
lovely smile, which she will sustain for the eater
what would be for anyone…
too long.
for me, so
As you finish your Porterhouse steak –
(Sucking on another Pabst. Hm.) - by
The way…awful nice being your server tonight.
Oh, thank you!
Finally, as you make
The last Porterhouse piece
Disappear down your ugly mouthhole
From behind and into your head
I be the one driving A meat cleaver, hun.”

It finally becomes Crystal clear
That you have a Candle Problem.
The candles on every table in
The Steakhouse: stoicism
Yes. Vanilla scented.
And, yes, it’s true :
All of them sitting;
Ever-eating their Mumble.
Trying not to scream funny
Hope too see ya, too.
You’ve never ventured, erm, you know…
Outside Daddy’s county. And, well…
I think that’s a shame.
And I suppose while I’m at it
(this mildly imperious –
a bit entitled-seeming, yeah.)
I think I’ll repeat something to you:
I think that’s a shame –

I think you became boring.
Understand that it is yr narrow, ever darkening,
Staunch rigor in that stance;
That posture you plant
Pretty much anywhere and everywhere.

The black soil of this county favors one such
As you - you, again like yr Daddy –
Freaking standing: tall, straight, arms crossed.
Just gazing into a middle distance
That has never been
Even a little interesting.
You are this statue: silent, dreary with
Your County thoughts.

(Industrial Arson March 1, 1975, Shelton, Sponge Rubber products factory complex)


“Southern Belle Wilting By Punch Bowl”

(For: D.C.B.,B.N.,& S.J.M.~~~and: (presumed damned) William T.: “slíbhín”)

Somebody clicks their teeth

We will not stay underneath

Secrets winding through the beats

Women start to leave their seats

Dancing, dying, winding sheet

Shy ones melting from the heat…

A Southern Belle is Wilting

By the punch bowl

Gentleman line up for her review

She prefers the slíbhín*

And the polecats

She has waited long…

…For her debut

Ivory skin

The bathtub gin

Has poisoned

Hunter Bean

Chaperones collide with waiters

Weaving through the scene

Ivory skin

The bathtub gin

Has poisoned

William T.

Chaperones imbibe with waiters

Hiding in latrine

(*slíbhín — pronunciation: /sliːˈviːn/ a disingenuous person; trickster

Origin: Gaelic English

synonym: scoundrel)

©2017 teagown