Anagrammer

By Peter Pereira b. 1959 Peter Pereira
If you believe in the magic of language,
then Elvis really Lives
and Princess Diana foretold I end as car spin.

If you believe the letters themselves
contain a power within them,
then you understand
what makes outside tedious,
how desperation becomes a rope ends it.

The circular logic that allows senator to become treason,
and treason to become atoners.

That eleven plus two is twelve plus one,
and an admirer is also married.

That if you could just rearrange things the right way
you’d find your true life,
the right path, the answer to your questions:
you’d understand how the Titanic
turns into that ice tin,
and debit card becomes bad credit.

How listen is the same as silent,
and not one letter separates stained from sainted.

Peter Pereira, "Anagrammer" from What's Written on the Body (Copper Canyon Press, 2007). www.coppercanyonpress.org

Source: Poetry (September 2003).

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This poem originally appeared in the September 2003 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2003

Biography

Peter Pereira is a physician, a poet, and the founder of Floating Bridge Press. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Poetry, the Virginia Quarterly Review, and several anthologies, including Best American Poetry and To Come to Light: Perspectives on Chronic Illness in Modern Literature. He has received the “Discovery”/The Nation and Hayden Carruth prizes, and has been a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award.
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