Dear Carmelina,

When Raj asked if I wanted to join you two in a ménage à trios I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. The only problem was that I was tripping on three hits of Purple Haze so when I kissed your thick lips all I could think of was getting my dick between them. But we’d just started so when I moved my hips up to meet your mouth.

“Whoa, slow down, cowboy.”

In my hallucinating state, I felt totally rejected. Then you and Raj started fucking and by the time it was my turn, I was a million miles away. That’s why I couldn’t get it up.


Dear Amy,

That first time you did Reiki on me, well, there are really no words for how it felt. You lit sage and waved it around my limbs, head, and torso in preparation for our session. You told me to put myself in a totally safe place. Nobody had ever said anything like that to me before so I fell in love with you that night. That’s why when you talked about marriage and kids the next time we saw each other, I didn’t even freak out. But then you started putting pressure on me to make money which has never been my strong point. And when you realized I wouldn’t be changing any time soon, you ended it. You left me alone on the path of Reiki.


Dear Babysitter,

We played a game where you dared my friend Cinnamon to rub her ass against mine. I think technically this qualifies as molestation but I remember thinking I was incredibly lucky to be part of something so grown-up at the mere age of six.


Dear Lisa Sparxxx (famous pornstar),

You’ve come to represent everything I’ve ever wanted and can’t have. When I see your big breasts, thick hips and perfect ass, I don’t get horny anymore. I get sad. I mourn the fact that I’ll never touch you. I desperately wish I was a football player or rock star or whatever kind of man you realistically might want. And I hate myself for not being him.


Dear Cynthia,

I would have been anything for you. I meant it when I told you I’d help raise your kids and try to heal all the stuff you’d never talk about. Waking up that first morning after our first night together, you handing me a plate of French toast and fruit, I fell in love with you all over again. Then, later that same afternoon, you accused me of masturbating in your shower. I denied it because I’d done nothing of the sort, but you had already turned to stone. When I cried you asked me if I was mentally unbalanced. No Cynthia, I wasn’t, those are called feelings


Dear Fellow Traveler,

It was dangerous working illegally in Eliat. Those Arab guys pinched my ass and tried to get me to fight them until your friend stepped in and told them he would fuck them all. But when you said it was too bad Hitler hadn’t finished the job? That was really over the line. What you didn’t know was that I’m Jewish and that I kept my mouth shut because you and your crew were the only thing keeping me safe.


Dear George and Robert,

Thanks for trying to get me home on your skateboards that night. And for propping me up when that cop came. According to you, he asked if I had been drinking and I replied fuck you and fell backwards, unconscious before I even hit the pavement. That must have been pretty funny. When I woke up in the hospital the next morning, my arms scarred from pulling IVs out as nurses tried to put them in, one nurse told me she thought they shouldn’t have given me anything so that I’d feel the full brunt of the hangover I had coming to me. I remember not understanding why she was blaming me for a decision that had been made while I was unconscious.


Dear Uncle Bernie,

You’re dead now, but I was just wondering if you knew that I faked my Bar Mitvah. My dad had me memorize an index card of transliterations so when I “read” from the Torah, I wasn’t really reading at all. In fact, I wasn’t even sure what I was saying.


Dear Keira,

I still can’t believe you licked my asshole that time. Nobody had ever done that and I’m pretty sure nobody ever will again, so I guess that’s a kind of bond we’ll always share.


Dear Joe (stepfather #1),

You drank vodka in the dark and kept to yourself for the most part but once, just once, you got up in my face and when I didn’t back down you called me crazy. And when I tried to kill myself you said I was just looking for attention as if that somehow discredited my pain. I get it though, I probably reminded you too much of yourself. You died of alcohol; your way just took longer.


Dear Dad,

I have one good memory of you. You and I were in the ocean and every time a wave came you hoisted me up safely over it. I’ve thought about what you were trying to tell me by that many, many times. To be above everything is the best answer I’ve found so far.


Dear Thugz,

I only made it about twenty steps out the door when you pulled out your guns and marched me back into the house. You took turns punching me in the face thinking that I was holding out but I was just poor. That dollar you took from my pocket was my last. When you tried to hustle me back outside, I realized it was to shoot me. I almost lost my mind in that second but decided I’d force your hand instead and end the nightmare. I screamed.


I closed my eyes, fully expecting to feel the bullet, but you ran away.






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PETER SCHWARTZ is a poet, photographer, and writer. His poetry has been featured in The Columbia Review, Diagram, and Opium magazine. His photography has appeared online at CELLA’s Round Trip, eyeshot, and Litterbox magazine. His fiction in such places as Nano Fiction, Pindeldyboz, Prism Review, and DOGZPLOT, where he is art editor. He thanks God and O.C.D. for his extensive publishing credits.

15 responses to “Letters to Air (part 2)”

  1. Simon Smithson says:

    Dear Peter,

    This is going to stay with me all weekend.

    Thank you.

  2. Simon,

    Thank YOU. Glad you enjoyed this. There was some talk of a video of the reading going up on the site so maybe you could watch it if you’re interested. Thanks again.


    • Simon Smithson says:

      Damn straight I’m interested!

      “When I was writing the first one I was sprung and encouraged everyone around me to write letters to people and things in the past that never sat right with them. It feels like a freebie, especially if you’re a sensitive petunia like me”

      I’m such a sensitive petunia. I’m going notebook shopping today.

  3. Joe Daly says:

    Holy shit.

    Peter, you’ve just taken the phrase “keeping it real” to a whole new level. Holy shit.

    The bit about your vodka drinking uncle, like the rest, was intense. So true and so insightful about the aim being the same, only the timeline being different.

    The last letter was profoundly unsettling. Wow. Glad you made it out in one, albeit battered, piece.

    Gutsy, gutsy piece.

  4. Joe Daly:

    Thank you very much for having the best reaction I could ever hope for. When I was writing the first one I was sprung and encouraged everyone around me to write letters to people and things in the past that never sat right with them. It feels like a freebie, especially if you’re a sensitive petunia like me. A million thanks. I’m a rep you, Joe, we can do the damn thing.

  5. Aleathia Drehmer says:

    I quite liked these sir. I think I write these in my head though not as formal and now that I think about it, I don’t have enough notebooks to hold them all. Thanks for being brave about it.

    The ever sleepy leathee

  6. Thanks Sleepyhead. Yeah, I got a lot of why-the-hell-not in me these days. I know you could write some good ones for sure. Peace and good jams to you, kind mademoiselle.

  7. Jordan Ancel says:

    Hey Peter, I wish someone wrote me letters or notes this poignant and funny.

    BTW, I sort of faked my Bar Mitzvah, too. I memorized my Canter singing it from a tape he made.

  8. Jordon, sneak into my life and heavily wrong me and there is a pretty good chance you will wind up in one of these! HAHAHA – that’s so awesome about memorizing it as a song. So is this how it all ends? We get rich by starting http://www.Ifakedmybarmitvah.com?

    It’s funny because I’m not particularly religious but sometimes I do think hmm, it was about thirteen that it all started to go wrong…

  9. Erika Rae says:

    You faked your Bar Mitzvah? Awesome.

  10. Hi Peter

    Haven’t seen much along this line on TNB. Maybe I just haven’t been around long enough. But I liked it a lot, totally unexpected. Being willing to lay yourself bare, without a bunch of ornamentation, is one of those reminders everyone should have hanging above their laptop every time they sit down to write. For some reason it’s still rare. I can’t believe Keira licked your asshole either! This is the kind of random prose poem I flip through obscure lit journals at Borders hoping to find.

  11. Good looking, Sean. No, I think I am somewhat of an odd duckling here. The truth is I never know what I will post on here each month, no clue, so now I’m down to just spilling secrets. God help me.

    Yes Master Erika, I sure did, but since I’ve come out of the closet as a bar mitvah faker I’m learning that this was not an uncommon practice, especially in the eighties.

  12. Carl D'Agostino says:

    Purple Haze. Mmmmm. Last time 1969. Me and Al was trippin in this old wood frame two story house by the RR tracks listening to Zappa and Beautiful Day when the train came by. He did not realize it. The whole house began shaking and Al got real scared and I said whadda mean, it’s so silent and then he gave me the six tabs he had and said never again. Well, I mean what else could I do but accept, right? Being concerned for poor Al’s sanity and all. Used that house as trip base many a time.

  13. Ah, that’s a great story, Carl. I can see how Al might have thought it was the end of the world. Thank God he had a friend like you to handle the haze. I don’t remember my last time but I do remember my first: tripping with two hot chicks while I was on vacation down south. We went swimming with our clothes on and then went back to my hotel room and got naked. To hear the end of this story our readers can send $9.99 to Eternal Flashbacks, P.O. Box 1969, etc…

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