On a part of the army airbase that crosses  
long air strips once used for planes, now 
for gliders, I walked towards the prison 
but not all the way across.  In the distance 
I saw cars and thought they might be cops.
You’re not legally supposed to be out 
on the air base.  I turned around, started 
walking back and heard what sounded like 
rifle fire, a distant thud.  I walked further. 
Another thud, from a different direction. 
An animal bolted and bounded across grass 
and brush.  It wasn’t a jackrabbit, it was too 
big for that, also too big for an antelope.
I thought either a deer or a very big coyote.
In the distance it looked like a silhouette 
bolting and bounding through the shallow 
grass and brush out on the land between 
the long air strips.

Peter Mladinic

3 Questions for Peter

What was your process for creating this work?

Both poems are fairly recent, Blame coming from a childhood memory, and Sunday, written a couple of months later from a recent experience I had while out walking.

What is the significance of the form/genre you chose for these pieces?

Form-wise, Blame to me is sort of a free-verse sonnet. I know it’s not a sonnet, but I’m just thinking of the form.  While Blame has a prose feel, Sunday has an even more prose feel to it, like a paragraph, only with my awareness of the line, Sunday, for me, moves down, rather than across the page.

What is the significance of this work to you?

I live with six dogs, and although I am not vegan, I have a keen appreciation for pets, and other animals. 

Peter Mladinic’s poems have recently appeared in Ariel Chart, Bluepepper, Neologism, the Mark, and other online journals.  He lives with six dogs in Hobbs, New Mexico.

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