Year of 1000 Suitcases

by Peter Schwartz

i’ll hide your butterflies in tiny, tiny suitcases then put them on trains if you’re scared of airplanes
like i’m holding you and not the ladder
and if it wobbles that’s the world don’t ever let it go

Peter Schwartz has 5 chapbooks: ‘the nowhere glow’, ‘amnesia diary’, ‘TELL ME’, ‘IN PRAISE OF all PARANOIAS’, and ‘Old Men, Girls, and Monsters’. He recently completed a full-length poetry collection ‘disciples (singers and destroyers)’. See more at: http://publishingproject.wix.com/peter-schwartz

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Year of 1000 Suitcases”?

YEAR OF 1000 SUITCASES is the poem that wouldn’t go away. These lines first came about in a poem called LETTER TO A WORLD THEY SAY IS NEVER SAVED then in WHAT COLORS LOOK LIKE FROM OUTER SPACE. There’s such intimacy in this voice so I saved these three lines and tried to fit them with other pieces or add to them directly, but nothing gelled. I figured they’d join the many lines I’ve written and liked, but ultimately had no use for. Then one day the title came to me and I realized it was, in fact, a complete poem.


Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

Matter Press is now offering private flash fiction workshops and critiques of flash fiction collections here.


Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now closed. The reading period for standard submissions opens again March 15, 2023. Submit here.


02/26 • D Angelo
03/04 • Steve Cushman
03/11 • Rita Taryan
03/18 • Jessica Purdy
03/25 • TBD