While You Were Watching by Monica Peck

(Cover art by the author)


Perhaps, soon, I will agree with you. I will turn to you at the intersection of Cesar Chavez and Valencia, to you in your black Saab, and I will motion for you to pop the trunk. I will yank my front tire from my bike and toss it in. Traffic will back up behind us, but we won’t notice. Together we’ll slide the bike frame into your back seat after you have carefully laid out a beach towel, so no grease will stain your car’s interior. All of this will be done without speaking. In fact, it will be foggy, even a slight drizzle, and your hazard lights will blur orange against the moisture. Once the bike is safely in your car, I will sit down next to you, select a compact disc, as you accelerate towards the Sunset District.






While You Were Watching by Monica Peck. dPress, 2002.


This is a sweet prose sequence of great phenomenal clarity. “Come here,” Peck writes. “Come out of that inkwell. This is the face I want to show you. Forget the others you have seen of me. Forget how I look as I am just stepping out of my door first thing in the morning, dragging my bicycle onto the stoop, helmet unclasped, pantlegs rolled above the knee.” A beautiful little book of loss and desire in urban landscapes. And the language is rich, never missing. The motion is in the cadence.


                                                DALE SMITH