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Mat Fisher


Muncie, IN, US

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Mat Fisher

I smile my benign smile, shake my head and swear to those who
that I've forgotten how bad it was,

I can't
remember--once I thought, arrogantly it now seems,
that only farm boys
from Daleville,
from Selma (it seems to me),
from Albany (I'm sure),
saw and understood and accepted death.

Watchin' half-starved barn cats, bit-eyed, endlessly swattin' mice
around on the dusty tack room floor before finally chewin' 'em up.

Listenin' to the keening squeal of a just-shot, half-dead rabbit.

Eatin' his 4-H project with eggs & a side of hash browns.

But I was wrong. Now I know that folks
in Fort Meyers,
in New Iberia (I assume),
in Corpus Christi (with my heart I'm certain),
know too.

'Tis in the Air, in every Breath,
Make no Mistake, 'tis Brine...and Death!

It's a half-rotted sea trout sticking up out of the slick sand, its
empty eye socket witness to some seagull's furtive meal.

It's a once elegant man-of-war, drowning in the hot Texas air, comically
upside down, waves flopping its rainbow tentacles


and out

and out

and out.

Each wave murmurs a secret as it dies on the beach,
and each casts its offering onto the burning sand:

a horseshoe crab,
a piece of kelp,
a starfish,
some small, vague fragment of shell...

But in time these whispers coalesce,
into a single sound.

The furthest wave and the wave beyond prepare secrets, and

I can never forget,


Smoke'em if you've got'em


Mat Fisher

Between the tough skin of consciousness and muscular dream
there lies an inner rind of liquid thought...

Patterns crumble,
Genres stumble,

smokey syrup
piercing yellow butter squares
horrible playground brats
a broken pop bottle

Standing in my monochromatic high school hallway,
odor of Charlie! BRUT, and desperate perspiration,
furtively trying to open my locker.
I've forgotten the combination.
I'm late for a final exam.
Shit, I'm totally naked.