william matthews

Drizzle

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Baudelaire: ‘The dead, the poor dead, have their bad hours.’
But the dead have no watches, no grief and no hours.

At first not smoking took all my time: I did it
a little by little and hour by hour.

Per diem. Pro bono. Cui bono? Pro rata.
But the poor use English. Off and on. By the hour.

‘I’m sorry but we’ll have to stop now.’ There tick but
fifty minutes in the psychoanalytic hour.

Vengeance is mine, yours, his or hers, ours, yours again
(you-all’s this time), and then (yikes!) theirs. I prefer ours.

Twenty minutes fleeing phantoms at full tilt and then
the cat coils herself like a quoit and sleeps for hours.

 

– William Matthews

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

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A Small Room In Aspen

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Stains on the casements,
dustmotes, spiderless webs.
No chairs, and a man waking up,
or he’s falling asleep

Many first novels begin
with the hero waking up,
which saves their authors
from writing well about sleep.

His life is the only novel
about him. Mornings
he walks past the park:
Tai Ch’i students practicing

like slow lorises.
A room on the second floor.
He’d dreamed of a ground floor
room, an insistent cat

at the door, its mouth pink
with wrath he couldn’t salve
and grew to hate. All afternoon
he’s a cloud that can’t rain.

There’s no ordinary life
in a resort town, he thinks,
though he’s wrong: it laces
through the silt of tourists

like worm life. At dusk
the light rises in his room.
A beautiful day, all laziness
and surface, true without

translation. Wherever I go
I’m at home, he thinks,
smug and scared both,
fierce as a secret,

8,ooo feet above sea level.
The dark on its way down
has passed him, so he seems
to be rising, after the risen

light, as if he were to keep watch
while the dark sleeps,
as if he and it were each
other’s future and children.

– William Matthews

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

Please visit the above, and click out on a Google link – help me pay for the time it takes to makes these daily posts

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The Snake

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A snake is the love of a thumb
and forefinger.
Other times, an arm
that has swallowed a bicep.

The air behind this one
is like a knot
in a child’s shoelace
come undone
while you were blinking.

It is bearing something away.
What? What time
does the next snake leave?

This one’s tail is ravelling
into its burrow—
a rosary returned to a purse.
The snake is the last time your spine
could go anywhere alone.

 

– William Matthews

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

Please visit the above, and click out on a Google link – help me pay for the time it takes to makes these daily posts

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