|Moved to matthieupierce.com
||[30 Mar 2009|10:43pm]
After more than three years of lurking behind private and my-eyes-only posts, and/or fermenting stuff on google docs, I've sweated out my bucket of fear and am ready to be more public in my writing again. This news is predicated upon two things: my leaving Dartmouth to move to Pittsburgh, and the upcoming publication of a (chap)book of my poetry by Word Parade Books. The work is called Some Cold, Bright, Old-Fashioned Facts, and it'll be available on Amazon and my own, fresh-birthed website: matthieupierce.com.
I'd love for what faithful friends and readers remain here to subscribe and comment on my new postings over there.
Thanks to everyone for six tempestuous years of livejournal!
||[16 Aug 2005|02:08pm]
His leather jacket bandages
his broken back-- scratched scabs, fresh scarring.
A letter from an institution or loved one
barely read, but he feels the backhand
-edness all just the same.
His white knuckles wind tight
around empty palms
not for want of wounds
but for lack of honest ones.
He kicks the vending machines
pale-faced and busted
and says god damn you,
why won't you come at me straight.
||[14 Aug 2005|04:06pm]
In bed, I tremble like raspberries
held in a child's hand.
I spread the sheets like jam and hope
to drop from vine to sleep
without rupture, without a spilling
and seeping of my essentials. My texture
is prickly and thin and sure to be as sour
Swollen with a million tiny fears
like seeds, tangled with prickles and a single,
incredible delicacy, I am pulled imperfectly
and fall to some undoing
all but fruitless.
||[13 Aug 2005|02:55pm]
I'm back, after a break. Summer term has been exceedingly busy-- I'm working on putting together a collection of graphic short stories and graphic poetry in collaboration with a bunch of student artists, so I'm at once excited (self-publishing, even if on a small scale; having some of my ideas put into graphic format; emailing Steve Bissette for advice; etc.) and exhausted (wrangling money and permission from the College, trying to convince people that I'm reliable despite a tarnished GPA [I failed a few classes back when I was chronically depressed], getting professorial sponsorship, etc.).
I've backlogged some of the first drafts of poems I've written recently, so apologies for filling up your "Friends" page with dreck.
||[13 Aug 2005|02:53pm]
Our houses burn delicately.
With the care of babies laid to rest
in wooden cradles, the ceilings sag,
the chairs lean and light,
the wallpaper curls and painted tears drop
from its blackened lashes.
As one, our two frames shudder and heat, shake, break,
and collapse together, our internal furniture
and family pictures and locked closets and forgotten attics all bright
and open at once, for once, for only in the loss of our structures most dear
do we finally both tangle and shine.
||[13 Aug 2005|02:53pm]
A steam engine chokes on its coal,
I bet you've never seen one but it chokes
I swear and staggers to a cross-knees spin
of wheels and steel track, a black pot-bellied senator
drunk and un-hiemliched, who doggedly climbs
a fallen ladder in his tuxedo,
who wheezes as he goes, a chuffing whine
and pulls along the other cars with promises
of more, more, more.
||[13 Aug 2005|02:48pm]
He chomps pixie sticks
paper and all to sand his throat
with sweet and bitter pulp
and radiation lime and watermelon.
This rough fruit gunpowder should cauterize
tight his tonsils and their recent hairline cracking
so he might sing in choir still
as an angel in the garden
before the lightning crack and rotten apple
before the muttered voices saying
"he's too old for this and certainly must leave."
||[13 Aug 2005|02:42pm]
Pay rapt attention, tail-coated children,
Grandpa's corpse has ruptured in its casket
and the whole black procession hears
the pat--pat--pat of ichor and embalming fluid
as it falls on the floor and puddles
past the pall-bearers.
What's to be done? You can't just stop and say,
"hold on, everyone, I've got some Grandpa on my shoe"
and then scamper for some wet-wipes,
and you can't tell the band to pipe up again
to cover the splashing sound of family
just tramping through Grandpa
because this is, supposedly, the silent part
and besides, you're paying them per-note.
With the Aunties appalled and the Uncles uncomfortable,
with Grandma groaning, there's just one thing that's conscionable--
do what you do on every day:
ignore your shoe-shine, put on a smile,
and make a break for the graveyard,
the ghosts of your family trailing behind you.
|Arguably my favorite poem in months
||[13 Aug 2005|02:39pm]
His filthy, unfiltered face
smears and cracks slowly
as winter sidewalks or the knuckled
faucet of a riverside park
pregnant with trailers.
||[13 Aug 2005|02:27pm]
There always will be frill and lace aplenty
for those, the best of people, who are
inevitably the sons and daughters of the worst.
No worse for wear, however, are their stockings
knee high and locked into pristine place
by golden shoe buckles and ten thousand pounds of oil
drilled ten thousand miles away
by the bucketful. The children play and laugh
unguessing at what crude black magic makes feasible
their tea platters and sterling silver armies
of toy soldiers.
-------------------Daddy's just a businessman
though his office is off-limits and he's sometimes late for dinner.
They dress up in lily and carnations
and pass the sirloin properly, and eat but never taste
the gas wells, or dust bowls, or trampled nations.
||[13 Aug 2005|02:18pm]
The bare weight of a shovel
built for digging holes lies heavy
in my brother's hands. He is strong,
no doubt, but in the blade and handle wait
the hungry ghosts of undug tons.
||[11 Jul 2005|12:31am]
Distortion bites at the edges
of his vision as this chlorine pool
chews a child's eyes, the price
of admission for such wet halls of sin
as he enters
without permission this time
to hold him in the power of holy orange
up and away from harm,
so eyes-first down he goes to a darker,
forbidden, reverse birth.
The water nuzzles him tightly as
a chemical cradle grown cold
from his long absence.
The prickling stops, his thoughts stretch
out, the depths open wide,
his eyes sink down.
||[17 Jun 2005|09:37pm]
under the eaves
of unowned pagodas
with the weight of dirty dishes
strung around his shoulders.
His clangs and echoes
are muffled by worn, unwashed laundry
and the repeated graffiti
hearts and swastikas.
silent in his shelter:
the wind no longer and
a suit of cast iron and bandannas
||[17 Jun 2005|01:15am]
Make a suit out of brightly-colored bandanas
exchange gasoline for lemonade
steal a shipment of McDonalds meats
build a castle from tacks
sing for the colorblind
wear aluminum in a storm
Invent a cure for papercuts
watch triangular television
convert an old man to metrics
squint for a month
hand out baseball bats
travel to a colony
Use cuddling as currency
glue together a dictionary
direct ham radio to NASA
paint easter eggs downtown
tailor shoes into clouds
burn lawn grass indoors
Play subway tag
compose an opus about scabs
dig for buried chocolate
trap butterflies in cathedrals
make a list and live by it.
||[14 Jun 2005|10:40pm]
Great invisible beasts walk our streets:
their footprints are potholes, they feed
on power lines and bring the blackouts.
They lurk between blinks: they shatter
our windshields, they snuff
out street lamps, they sweat
the darkest oil stains.
They are the midnight heat waves, the cracked street alley-gaps, they are the shadows at our backs,
they are facts.
||[11 Jun 2005|05:11pm]
Biplane crashes in local
man's front yard, pilot crawls
to front door, rings doorbell,
waits, rings again, yells,
local man appears wearing towel
and distinctly unmatrimonial
lipstick, long pause follows.
Pilot, clutching injuries, observes
local man: smelling of mortages
and credit card debt, overweight,
sullen family photos in background, sporting
garish lipstick and prissy towel.
Pilot turns and rapidly scrabbles
back to what experts confirm to be
the lesser of two disasters.
||[05 Jun 2005|04:00pm]
An old circus dog
carries his spangles
which are themselves worn
over the sawdust
through the sweat-tents
past the tired giants
with whom he once danced
to his Master's trailer
where he passes through the gates is
lifted of his burden
in the cool, in the shade.
|I Don't Really Drink Coffee
||[04 Jun 2005|10:54pm]
My paper-pulp cup of coffee
so filled with sugar packets
it looks I've caught the muddy Mississippi
in spring thaw, sandbags and all.
|Dishwashing at Nine
||[03 Jun 2005|03:17am]
When all else failed,
(soap and soaking and scrubbing)
we would reach
under the sink for the steel wool.
We never wore gloves, so it chewed
into our already softened fingers.
Elbows up, all our weight
down on the clump of golem hair,
which would grow dark with grease
and young blood. From this pressure
on the blackened dish, an impossible shine
would spread, rise through the murky waters, and fill the room.