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Buoyancy and Other Myths

Gut Punch Press 1995 ISBN 0-945144-06-7

"Buoyancy is Richard Peabody's finest work to date. Whether he is writing about himself, his family, a lover, or the world at large, he writes with directness and honesty. His poems balance humor and sadness--he sees the humor in this ridiculous world, but it's often tinged with sadness that comes from thinking maybe the world could be a better place if only . . . "

-- Jim Daniels


As Bees in Honey Drown

There's still honey in your voice
when you answer her unpredictable
late night phonecalls.

A sympathetic counterpoint
to her breathy whispers.

She has always been able
to make you quiver.

And don't think
your new lover
hasn't noticed.

If a voice could give life
perhaps this is the wavelength
it might choose.

Burnished sweet as clover honey
--the split-second hesitation
before sliding over the lip
of the jar--folding back onto
itself in golden ribbons.


The Other Man is Always French

The other woman can be
a blonde or a redhead
but the other man
is always French.

He dresses better
than I ever will.

He can picnic
and stroll
with a wineglass
in one upraised hand.

Munch pate,
drink espresso,
and tempt with
ashy kisses.

He hangs out
at Dupont Circle
becuase the trees
remind him of Paris.

Did I mention sex?

Face it--
he's had centuries
of practice.

I'm an American.
What do I know?

He drives a fast car,
and can brood like
nobody's business,
while I sit home
watching ESPN.

He's tall and
chats about art--
I don't even want
to dicuss that accent.

My fantasy is to call
the State Department
and have him deported.

Only he'll probably
convince you to marry him
for a green card.

No way I'm going to win--
the other man is
always more aggressive,
always more attentive.

The other man
is just too French
for words.

From now on
I'm going out
with statuesque German women

so next time we run
into each other
they can kick his butt
for me.



"Richard Peabody takes a hard look at himself and the contemporary world and comes up with poems alternately funny, sad, and tender. These poems remember childhood and sing of love--both lost and requited. Buoyancy has charm and insight in equal parts."
-- Miriam Sagan

In his fourth full-length collection of poems, Buoyancy and Other Myths, DC native Richard Peabody writes some of his most revealing and autobiographical material to date. Topics range from his father's death to the Gulf War, from the American dream to the death of love. And as he has in previous volumes, Peabody examines the flotsam and jetsam of pop culture--from comic book seductress Vampirella to a doll bonfire that includes Barbie and her ilk. These poems juggle the duality's of comedy and tragedy, love and hate, gain and loss, life and death, illusion and reality. Stanzas that critic Tracey O'Shaughnessey described as "at once angry and loving; foaming with wrath and quivering with an aching, desperate love." We often laugh when reading these cyclical poems but are never really sure why exactly it is that we're laughing. Perhaps, as Hugh Fox has said, it's because "Peabody is two sensibilities in one starved frame: PopSchlockist and Meistersinger." Consider this book then, an attempt to keep the spirit afloat in a physical world of pain and disappointment.

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