Two by


Matt Dennison





Echolia’s Proverb



The birds are in the wet bush
as with blanket or not, I, the hero
of inconsequence, backed up
in his inlet, watch, discomfited
(too much of which is delicate to ask
when a pregnacy of tiredness awaits).
Surrounded by magnets, the smoke
evolves wings upon the cuticle sky,
a far-more plow enticed to gravel
the desert first, of course, then vacuumed
silence so easy to swim until, standing
on the red stepstool to paper the giant’s
soft chaulky walls, the last pocket drops
and all the dogs are once more in a circle,
laughing to the side.





Full Mercury



As snakes whose poison
burns their mouths must strike,
rough angels numb to the lyric
must be bright enough to see
those tentative, odd-shaped stools
melt legs across tables, detesting mysteries
in the sun. Love, grief—these strategies
cannot be solved, nor the only blotch
of pigment in the belly kicking the traces,
the mills of the quickfire’s glory-shod lisping
of snotty little prayers, the rising of ghosts
into character, scientists scorching Hell’s broth
of salt and the purchase of this world with its
catchings of meat for all, that soup with no
gravy-bolts disobeying the annihilation exactly
off-course until the prospect of trying to frighten
crows halts the bridge, for that faraway dog,
my dog, is one of those strange-mouthed beasts
you read about, view and gristle over as I, embracing
the act of bleeding worse than history, rewrite my life
with father as hero, fragiling our coffin up the stairs—
(one doesn’t remember the vomitations of necessary
deaths sliding like fox feet, but these are the muscles we
must stretch exactly as no-lie, for anything that can yawn
can suffer fire to the south, half-a-peach-knob’s jangling
enthusiasm whorifying Heaven’s machines that rise up

from the ground, re-wilding the world’s dreamery,
floating in sin balloons as the clowns of constancy,
near sick with delight, pour electricity into a cup
tasting life’s pinch of the tiniest bit turning rapture
low to play the mouth’s pucker-pipes’ vile gestures
of respect, black peregrinations of foot-bridged,
rainbows of iron and salt slamming the bright mountain,
a flame-smith’s sweat-test under the elephant dugs
of the old weird america’s homemade prostheses,
the sun-breaking angel-bent visions, the blind puzzle-maker’s
four heads asleep on a shoe-enemy’s rose-blinding moon,
the immediacy that burns pockets full of horses dancing
on my fractures, the bing-bang’s two earthly salts).
I see every star my eyes can see in the apple attacked
from different angles with different teeth, that little thing
we feed with great starvation, for little did they know
they were having their legs broken by modest
wooden cats. My German grandfather was a piano tuner.
Sleep death grace distance distraction and apathy ruled his life.
This has to happen now. It must be having death-pangs now.
My house is a house of strange-handy tribalism, the placidity
of paintings. I’m holding these hearts in my hands and trying
not to break them. If the day made Heaven and gravity one
and slid those pluses into our quiver our muddy things
would only bathe in golden tubs. Crash-Leaf—
the trophy room’s a bone! If you want the truth,
my arms hurt because I have them.









Matt Dennison is the author of Kind Surgery from Urtica Press (Fr.).  His work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review, among others.



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