The Works of Peycho Kanev 

Peycho Kanev is the editor-in-chief of Kanev Books. His poems have appeared in more than 400 literary magazines, such as: Poetry Quarterly, The Monongahela Review, Steam Ticket, Ann Arbor Review, Midwest Literary Review, Third WednesdayThe Cleveland Review, Istanbul Literary Review, Loch Raven Review, In Posse Review, The Penwood Review, Mascara Literary Review, The Mayo Review and many others.

All Poems © Peycho Kanev



“Poetry is indispensable - if I only knew what for”,

said once Cocteau, and I am trembling with anticipation!

I had so many hearts in my closet, and now it’s only one,

but I am not complaining.

Obviously I’ve changed. If I could choose between myself

from the past and the one from now, I’ll choose ignorance.

And history will lick its bloody mouth again.

I remember how in the winter in the woods, we were kindling

dry twigs and listened to the cries of the silence.

But today the winter is everywhere.

This is a sad song, I hope will warm me in some cold night,

when I’ll listen to the ticking of the clock, and I’ll dream of

my life lost long ago with the butterflies.

There is not a big difference in living on different continents

if the faces everywhere are all the same.

You apprehend the Grand Canyon only as a great and long hole

if the bluebird in your guts is trembling.

It’s the same with the rest of the world.

In North Dakota an Indian told me that our destiny is not written

anywhere and then he gave me a calendar and a pipe.

And since then I am looking for matches to build one match-stick

soul; I need glue, and one torn Rembrandt to glue together again.

Art! Will it last forever?

I also need tarantulas to pet, words to write in the darkness of

the shortness of life next to a burning candle.

I don’t want credit cards to cut the whiteness of my memories,

and I do not need the virgins of King Solomon to be their God.

And before I say Goodbye, I’ll turn on the next page, where

it’s winter again to start afresh.

Impossible Calculations


It’s quiet. I look down at my hands

and count the memories that have left their mark.

The one from my grandmother’s

rusty scissors, the scar from the first

cigarette, two fingers crushed by the piano

in one southern city, the cut from the crooked

army knife and one from the cigar during one crazy

night. But, one day, I will see in my hands oceans of

wrinkles, in which the stones will sleep, in which

I’ll swim to the end.