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October 11, 2017 Poetry

Two Poems

Lucian Mattison

Two Poems photo


So casual the godless
rejoinder to believer.
We temper words,
but not these. He won’t
a dram or drop,
the uttered novella
in sober prose—
how would I answer me
telling myself
I was no longer
completely myself?
And nobody is wrong
about god and thus,
so much proffered
in the immaculate
peopling of an egg,
little fish of humanity,
lord of all fish. I am
no better or worse
for the hook
through my lip,
and somehow
an inexhaustible food
in the right hands.


Tomorrow is easy, today
uncharted, desolate, reluctant
as any landscape that yields
flaws of perspective.

Some fine day we will try
to do as many things as are possible
and perhaps we shall succeed
at all of them.

No longer a promise,
The edges of a mirror image keep
creeping outside the borders

of reflection, and we expand
the mirror to accommodate.


This togetherness in still life,
projection of a salvaged self, narcissist
in its solitude made us this way.

There is no longer any harbor
of the self and yet
we are all bobbing as if moored.


No secrets fill a drowsy whale,
perfectly hollow gullet,
its song only speculation,
music its only meaning.

Tiny bubbles escape
from the trapped beer cask
of its baleen.

The surface draws this small air,
magnetized to bubble skin.
It holds nothing in,
no words to say what is not
superficial, no core other than
the problem born within itself.


We keep awake
like climate and clouds, strange
because our heads
are a point of lapse.

And I thought differently.
And I thought differently,

here is a wave that gives up
before the rocks,
retreats backward away from the moon’s
pull, almost living, the assonance

of accidents, Ashbery
a fisheye fastened to happenstance.
What good is the line

without hook or sinker,
our future just rows of cirrus
like ploughed earth, its comprehension
only as important as its fruit.


The present is a cloud, margins
falling away, whispered around
the atmosphere. It ends up identical
to what was never intended.

Explaining the whole story,
only our end is what matters
to those who were never
any help whatsoever.

Our opposite hand
the extent of our knowledge,
our thoughts are miles
above us, unpracticed,

scrawling our names in chalk,
on the big blue, each letter
with wings drawn.


image: Mike Reynolds