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Friday, March 6, 2015

Ten Poems by Matt Sanderson

Your hand was pressed against this page
flesh against wood

I want you to touch me like that

Write for me again
I want the font of your hand
your soft pretty hand
carving lines into paper

Name my desires
you want as your own 

Make contact, leave your mark
Press yourself

your whole self

against me entirely
How empty is a life 
that does not dread
flowers on graves?

Love is despair 
at its own sunset

I will fight back the nights
bring you a daisy a day
to protect you from time

sing you poems of ecstasy
to shield you from silence

feed you tea and oranges
to celebrate your body

Death now seems a terrible injustice 

You are the reason I fear the end 
Sound should sound 
like the desire in your voice


Now I hear the mystery 
Now I hear the longing

Hide with me in the old church


and listen for God
I want to die with you
in a whiteout
drowning in deepest warm cold
pitched into black
the warmest cold calm

I want to die with you in a whiteout

Take me with you 

I want to be immediately
completely forgotten

The world we formed
was more than enough
A voice is flesh
vibrating against itself
a throat on fire
with an electric hum

I love your voice
The soft bloom of your voice
swelling and exploding in my chest

A heart is flesh
pushing back against itself
It doesn't know what it wants
frantic and frenzied
thrashing around in the dark

A heart is an endless civil war
flesh beating itself to death

I love the chaos of your heart

We are flesh
a plenum of restive flesh
now stilled from within
My hands smell like your chest
I fill my whole body
I’m at the edge of my skin
Everything is flesh

Why did it take us so long
to lie down and sink
into the mist and the clover?

Because your face can’t be pictured
and your name can’t be spoken

even when I take you in my arms
and we slowly tumble backwards
into the endless empty fall
Laugh with me
that fearless laughter
deeper than the world
lost in the depths of all Being

We will dissolve
fall and die
into the first ecstasy

Let go

The Boundless will catch us
We can learn much
from those who paint the countryside

just before the first snowfall

musicians who let silence
swallow the field of sound

Will I ever have lived
and loved you enough to let go?

Love is the terror
of time running out 

We are so young, my love! 
Much younger than we know

And yet we do not have long
Your hand will not
remain in mine always

We are not ready

to take the leap with joy

Let’s make love
to practice and prepare
I want to come find you
push myself into you
pass through to the other side

find you beyond
waiting for me once more

But you’re never close enough
to even be out of reach

You have no real birthday

There's no way to sculpt you

You don’t dance on the ground

You float and you fade
in the city in the rain

The light in your eyes isn’t light
Your voice doesn’t come from your throat

You aren’t beautiful like a flower
Your beauty is that of dreams and ideals

and yet you are bone blood and tissue
wrapped in skin and hair

There's a skull behind your face
Your eyes are meat lodged in bone
Your hands are earth ash and dirt

I just want to hold you

So look with me in the mirror
and realize 
we’re here right now

But only one of us
will die in the other's arms
I wish I could walk with you forever
wandering endless paths

But so much joy is unbearable
because I once was so chained
so lost in the never without you

Now I feel colors and trumpets!
I know why there is a morning
always a new day

I smile with children and animals
I see my calm reflected
in the still waves of your mind

But so much joy is unbearable
when I am this new this

so exposed to tomorrow
and never as happy before

I love the past that led me here
and now as my future
to know what gives you ecstasy
and cross the limits beside you

But so much joy is unbearable

I once was without you

Now all I do is transcend

Sunday, April 13, 2014

demon, attosecond

What you seek is seeking you. --Rumi

The moon gets smaller as the night comes on.
Rises over the bay and constructs.
brief as love.
I live on a flamingo wing.
The sun forces gold from shadows and windows.

For a minute in that traffic
static speaks of rain, machines
cancer and harp seals
trucks guns and  holy words.
Slipping into darkness
leaching all the beauty
from a slowing day.
I make the moment given me.

There is nothing new but novelties.
I had my way. Discovered roads, went wild.
I remember everything.
I immediately forget.
I have the memory of a child.

Night creeps out the streets.
Gulls talk of brittle eggs.
I feel a landlocked whale
who's wandered in bad bays
and gorged on fish
until he's trapped inside a space
to prove how patient is extinction.

If you're seeking enlightenment
this journey ends in the middle.
You will not argue.
How Desire set its talons deep:
The constant create-more-creations.
To see more than necessary.
Feel more than prescribed.

Broken laptop with lucite earrings and eucalyptus leaves. Pineapple and lemon on velvet in shade.
Untitled shipwreck.
Silk patterns, bright colors.
Who's fucking my baby now?

A yellow light advising caution
gleams against the last lavender.
My heart is beating like a million trains.
The darkness comes down
like a dagger too eager
to rain and thrill me.
My mind is over
in the sense of seeking.

O to live in a diva's day.
To have one's stimulants used against thee.
It is difficult to find a conversation
that does not lead to love-poisoning-love.
Difficult to find something
that isn't boring or disgusting.

Everything we don't-know-why
takes night on its back
and on the carcass of the moment past
new thoughts form
like fungi dividing the living and dead.

These are not the sexy epiphanies of brilliant youth
but steady streams of task and stat
face and judgment
date and time. Metaphysical dust.
The stuff that poets keep clean.

Everything I've tried has failed to solve me
yet a deep hope remains. It must
beneath the pain and trivia.
The night is lighter later
by a moment than the previous.
O limited men

in limitless oblivion,
at first there's a lack of time
to unravel complexities.
Then an abundance of time
in which all these dimensions
are clowns to insanity.
The closest we get to understanding
can only be confusion.

Like an insect who breathes just 24 hours
I see that I am grains of time--
a second-by-second guess.
It is impossible to do anything but stare.
To move on automatic
with some vague notion
of what to seek and where.

Eternity is eternity
to perfect our deformities.
I constantly curl to places
my soft parts stuck. I was sixteen.
I was twenty-five.
Thirty-three and thirty-four.
I was tired of looking back
and saying what I was:
a starving carnivore.

Beyond solution, deep in self-pity
the earth around me seemed to crack.
If you pieced its puzzle
you'd see a war crime 
ripped from the headlines
bleeding onto the icecaps
while someone gave an explanation why.

Desperate for shelter
I went seeking human connections, saying
even the homeless find them
one warm night
under the punishing stars.
A moment you wonder
Am I the only one?
And someone says
I like the way things are.

But X is subject to rapid total change.
Moods will vary
events will alter.
Beauty calcifies.
It seems impossible 
with these gadgets anthems and pills.
Keeping us moving
through mayhem response and the critics.
On the most-pristine oil spills.

Surrounded by needles and cameras
injustice frustration and death
everyone was becoming more evil.
The greater the evil
the more they spoke of harmony and love.
Whoever spoke I trusted less.
Whoever was silent
wasn't far behind.

No no, I said, 
that isn't right. It isn't evil.
It's just self-interest we are tired dying
trying to get by
while lucky-few command us
to go further faster and obey
and we do
without recourse.

At night I stared at couples 
kissing in the bars
and wondered about my future food source.

Strip-searched to the skeleton
because I had to be
I heard gunshots in the blue. 
The things we hear, the things we say,
mean little on the day-to-day.

For instance I can speak of freedom
but it's a speech created for me.
Emptying its value
on broken bridges systems.
Courts and cities.
The list is endless really.
Today a woman was shot for no reason
by a kid with no name.

Look around. You'll feel the pain.
You'll see it as design.
The divine right of kings
who do with power what one does
until we're broke and trapped
resigned and high.

I think I'm authored by a secret committee
inbred as a pharaoh's afterlife.
Any passing luxury sedan
may determine how tomorrow ends.
May understand the speeches written for me.
Why the bombs drop for real.

I will not fear such heroes.
My amen ascends to a blue sky
and waits for a goddess to reply.
After such hopes, one sees
his status is in doubt.
That no reply may come.
And I will fear such heroes in my time.

Such talk and my head fills with images,
a sudden parade to game my discomfort:
Lamborghini/volcano/giraffe birth/commando surgery/
I set sail on a ship with sails of skin
and landed in the annals of pornography
beside the wounded angels.

Adapted to a challenging environment.
Survived and hated it.
Stopped believing newspapers talk-show hosts antiheroes
the all-powerful dollar
villains supervisors
the script of heaven above.

Got so high I spit on stars
then felt bad because I knew they're set like me.
To die. Avoiding death.
To tell themselves
Eternal life is awful.
To wait to believe.

To believe in nothing, even disbelief.
Drifting here and there
repeating words I'd overheard.
A puppet of prophets.
Or their silent unmoored companion.
What am I floating for really?

To doubt the lessons of poets I admired?
And the music that I hear. 
Is it really genius?
Or just a crude commercial 
for an ancient king?


Metaphor clarification innuendo and slur.
I go to bed relieved of light.
Rain oils on the city.
Rocks me to sleep
like tsunamis of lava
under the red-lightning sky.

In dreams I once broke the equations.
Everything was deep and vital
fearless and alive.
I unpacked a neverending train
of the biggest-ever prizes.
Ate bouillabaisse
from the Stanley Cup
on a regular basis.
But X is subject to rapid total change.
In time without effort
I started seeing shit everywhere.
Bad burgers sat in my stomach like poverty.
Fat clouds of silence my art.
My words now brilliant for fools.

Lived a life I was not really living.
When I woke I'd done great things
no one could appreciate.
But when I woke
I was the man I always recognized.

Hemorrhaging money. Smoking dope
a golden liver
begging more.
They put me on medication
on medication on medication.
I lived in harmony with radio stations
broadcasting bland hits
and arctic prophets coming true.

Saw poverty, addiction, as an arc of my story

til that moment it was A) a cliche
and B) misery and C) a disguise.
Nothing kills dreams like alarms.
But the dream of the next night's
even-softer arms.

Woke up jealous to the sound of rain on tin

stained glass early shadows
velvet thumping gentle cars
birdsong in a forest of malachite.
To sounds I thought the privileged hear.
I heard in the distance.

Talked back down from my deluded heights
I thought Love was next to take me higher.
The proof is in the wound I was
when I found myself once more.
Living a life I was not really living.
A starving carnivore.

My love was everything you've heard,
ultimately nothing to me.
A silent siren
you tempt to sing by being near. 
To no avail because she's modest
full of fear.

What happens when the light of god
has no effect upon the flowers waiting in you?
Do you not ascribe your flowers
to a different source when they arise?

I loved for nothing.
The get-yourself-together-and-forget-it-man
well-wishing friends prescribed
wore thin as I found memories in every song.
Wondering when love becomes weird.
If obsession is wrong.

She's there again in the bedroom. Not naked but not clothed. The bluebirds listen deeply. Silent summer air. Our bodies mortared with sweat in the attic. It is late afternoon, and lace on the sun.

I sleep. I wake. I go.
And the dream ends with its understanding.
In a pile of cloud that never was
the breath of myth
balanced on air
til a breeze proves impossible 
love. Love passes
like nausea. 
Like dreams.
Like alarms.


If this is what awaits us 
is it not a miracle?
Yes or no is either 
side of the wrong answer.
The light that keeps us safe
is hot enough to burn.
It exposes every vesicle.
Supermodel sucking popsicle.

My head nods Yes
like buoys in the mint-sea fog:
All this 
and the universe loves me!
As it loves you 
and the rest of humanity.
But my vanity is wounded
cuz I'm not loved especially.
At heart I hate equality.

I must be loved above the rest.
Be blessed by a butterfly for all you know.
I know that's not the way.
So I desire 
to untangle my desire
becoming more entwined.
A carcrash of everything
waiting for the doctor
let me complain.

One day I will embrace what is open before me.
It will be free as the beautiful describe.
An arrowed soul, a flying bird
a sidewalk kiss
a window through the world I see
in my eyes
without fantasies.

Maybe I comfort some heartbroken heart
with this sympathetic hurricane
and feel you through the darkness.
Toward the hazy spring we end together
forgetting the punishing stars.

Maybe I don't
and you think I have misplaced
all that's real of human value.

Maybe we go round for days
and I am still a crazy beast
with evanescence hampered
by temptation-to-endure.

How sad then to emerge
gladiator in a stadium of infinite blood.
Given no option
but to wrestle with monsters.  
Living like the spasms of a severed limb
acting out of habit
like everything is there.

Blood light kiss. 
Form breath rain.  
It isn't easy for the angels
to deny what keep us craving.
And how can one 
deny perfection?

Or admit it's difficult 
to deeply feel.
That the senses are an industry
burning up stimuli
to leave us jaded ogres
complaining the sun today was too golden.

People claim the dead survive
in memory, but memories are words
or suns or rock formations.
Like a demon to damnation
everything must go.

Misdeeds and planets miracles crowns.
Even if it means sorrow and pain.
With the juiciest tears ready to flow
from drug-company actor on cue.

Diversions kissed-together
are now clouds, roll away.
Words that once ignited me.
Promises seemed-real.
I live on fury
can't sustain, 

imitate my angels
chewing dip in twilight angles
as homeless men give up their Gloria
under blue sonnet skies
rainclouds like aircraft carriers
sweeping the west.

Nothing can be said
but explodes into light
brief as love.

Starlings and seagulls
on the cables of big ships
shake their heads 
like thoughts are stuck
and the sky turns 
other shades 
of pink and gold
and bigger blue
that bring the rain.

Other shades,
as if to say
these are not the only options. 
Alternatives await
if you let time and space 
hesitate its mind with you.

I accept indiscriminately
the rainbow left behind,
the idea someone new 
is just around the turnstile
which is all so many find worthwhile.
This I may remember. I may immediately forget.
I have the memory of a child

shown to the world, excited, delirious.
A fog blows over the hippocampus.
Obfuscate the clear with me and be like it.
Cloud the severity of seeing 
so much so clearly
you know more than should be known
in the lifetime of a little god
or a veteran pawn:
Let no fungus grow when I'm gone.

Let all be clean, let all be clear.
That was my prayer.
If you need to know more
your journey ends here. 

You don't come from heaven either.
Your blue is black. Dream over.
Now there can be
no sobbing eye.
You know the way shit works
way too well to cry.

Just know I've seen it with you. 
Felt it for you.
Whatever it was.
You can tell me
in between your sighs.

And if you find yourself in fear
take these words
and blow them to the sky.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

January of the Amoeba

i. twas fighting season

One haze in which that beautiful mirage
revealed itself mirage
the blue hung thick
as cordial gel 
cherries bleed
in chocolate bells.

Every day the light 
of another excuse for creation
set beautiful traps to call me in 
like sum dum animal

the days in love extended
vanished as the April bay
hides summer murders
behind a calendar of sparkling May--
June gunshots anonymous
making mothers make scenes
banal and raw 
as anything again again again.

One step ahead of my echo dreaming of spring
attempting to recapture prime and be
I could not parse the animation 
of swinging arm
to missing frame.

I did not understand the harbor’s quiet continuity
the mute opal moon that does nothing but imitate
a face in the lateness 
hemorrhaging time.

So crystal trees dripped away
in shadows lending deep relief
to statue
and to cornice
and to crime

cradling freak emotions
ascendant like aromas
made by the ocean 
once in a lifetime
maybe the only time
aromas of infinity
pointless to name
pointless to ignore.


Shifting truths have their moment
drift into the rock of others
until they break or melt 
and shape anew.

So riots caught and children starved and markets crashed
and went as planned
and choices lures
folds pollutions
solutions errors
assaulted me like diamond
vortices of casino chandeliers
poised above my escalation.

Let me lift you into confusion.
Alone in an asphalt field
for elysian fiends
all brass ovary and power haircut
starving the time gray

tired of scandal redemption invective praise
retraction invention
lockdown evacuation
one haze in which my beautiful mirage revealed itself
I sat up stinkin thinkin

I could see a black tornado
serenade the sun
along a racetrack of the atlas

sat up stinkin thinkin
the smallness of the work
the paucity of hits
the splitting markets
and the competition gone insane
mean Odysseys, Commandments,
Declarations end
at river bottom upside down
or echoing on lips of our extuplets
across the multiverse.

Annihilation or continuous rebirth,
the ego takes it hard
as a flailing newborn flailing  
hopes it will be loved
right now
finds the mother abandoned
must recreate itself.

iii. we, eukaryotes

First warm winter day 
the air anything possible 
can be easily neutered
by rounds of cold-again nights.

Election times: flame-broiled agitprop
comes upon you like a resting hand
you desire to reciprocate your reach
as you desire the existent for its opposite
as a warm day in autumn
resembles a cold day in spring.

I knew that green desire in my white despair

sweating through wool
at stubborn stoplights
dreaming of empty jails
distant as the zillionth zillionaire
from the exponentially homeless

from somewhere I called home inside me
daring ambulance to change direction


learning what I already knew
of dead soldiers
reported by the evening indigo,
printing presses, their tragedies
engineering analysis paralysis
everaware and less trusting
of things made obvious
banal and raw as anything 
again again again

tired of curses cures
freedom forms devices
custom construct paradigm ceremony truth
spewing like a bad volcano

blood pus and villainy
down upon the human cash

the world a bore
til miniscule as it is
a variation in the pattern 
excited slightly 
as tremors shorten days
immeasurable joy

I came to see the dark angel of what I wanted
as a moral human to believe
was changing, always, 
to continue.

Tired of the haze in which my beautiful mirage
made warmth and wind seem March
and the dark September
every month appearing
on the white page of the grayest sky
I heard my words
echo on the lips of our extuplets
alone in an asphalt field
where elysian fiends waved  
this night 
and that night 
and so forth.

So the pale and savage April bay
and the calendar of sparkling May
got closer seeming
a year and a season away
two steps ahead of my echo 
dreaming of Spring.

O minotaurs, come search and destroy me.
I feel the afternoon protects me now

from everything and the exceptions.


Because the Mystery drops 
enough hints to lose  
interest in the depth
of its resistance to reveal itself
and knowing I’m not heavenly
I slowed the pace of my investigation
and drank 

Would February bring an answer maybe not
so late as pessimists desire.
But watch the optimists
hesitate these days--
eyes wide
as powerless eyes,
empty as the treasury
and colder than a stomach full of wine—
struggling to find exception to the scene
and life was a laugh,
inappropriate, nonetheless true.
You could see transitions smooth
the glide of heyday to afterapex
transition one day to the next
but then unto another
smoothly as the day it rains it shines it pours.

One haze in which that beautiful mirage revealed itself
I sat up stinkin thinkin
to favorite songs in snow-locked lots
where mesh fences rats’
timeless meditations

disgusting without doubt
as the future and the past they know
intimate as hidden treasure and the plague

how the magnitude of the infinite 
sorrow and ecstasy faced
inspires silence

until Hello Goodbye
become one's only words
polite company is chased
and life cleaves to dichotomies
you know belie complexities
there is no reason to untangle.

In the morning
Civilization's same sick aloha returns--

every curse every cure
exception and norm
a brand of tarantula porn
a cocktail of thrills
status quo as contro
versial advertising--

nude men, coke use,
snakes and ladies, milk on face,
roller coasters painted up like summer fruit,
the usual configurations--

sending endocrines
far reaches of the lobe
and thence to those perverse equations
where extreme facial injury
and film of birth
are identical texts:

Mutineers have no fear.
Captains take hearts.
Everyone is thrown overboard.
This was my mantra.
Not the one I meant to choose.

I was in too deep to think 
the way I thought before.

v. creation and waste

Bled dry gone crazy
desperately seeking critical mass consumption
unwavering in liege 
to faults I would 
inherit or create,
a formation of formations 
seeking form
among the adaptations
psychic and chemical
too hard and too soft
and no one can fix you are this person

absorbed in the body of math
the stars and we extend,
our extravagant forms 
made for multiple ends
and beginnings
as other extravagant forms
like the old ones meant nothing
more than the new. 

Whose goddess can say
if they did if they didn't
if Earth doing as it does
obliterates before I speak
random samples of the undeserving
and deserving

all bled dry gone crazy
tired of reason falsehood slogan trick
meme scheme deliberation
softball truth excoriation
happy birthday wishes
my Allstate agent 
messages to me,

a voice of reason to forget
hyped hopes and memories
of falling snow
of hearts that burned
like mandalas beneath the breastbone
now desperated by the dailiness of days

waiting on July--
known in this cold like a planet
by penumbra and legend--
or August to arise and blooming leaves
let trees smolder blue nightmares
warm my heart
with hot pants on Tokyo girls
their steaming skin
beneath preening magnolias
leaves wilting/asphalt vapor
that have laid, are yet to lay
on the endless crosswalk
in a crushed bouquet
confusing as the bad boob job

from which you cannot look away.

vi. autospies and private armies

I've stopped evolving
found my formula and opted out.

Tomorrow’s clouds are up there now.
Hand in hand with fog 
I walk to be dispelled.
Someone said I’d pulled my last moon from the apple tree.
In the middle of things change takes me in another direction.
The profanity of the rapidity 
ensures my gatisfaction saranteed.

Anyone entirely entranced, watch out.
The heart cracks up 
along familiar faults:

Rules transform to patterns. Edicts to designs.
Laws more lenient than passing time 
forgive themselves
send October to November
to December nights
that bring me stinkin thinkin here
to fret with time, too much of it
for the taking of toast and tea
for hoping the chameleons 
blend into me.

So the search for ethical bacon continues
held out like an infallible promise
to supermarket babies
whining in the aisles
who think you break the laws
they think exist
must recreate themselves

Falling in love over the counter
car exhaust billowing 
through twilight and evergreen
the magic aligns
waiting for me to wind down.

I never wind down.

When sunlight melts the ice
I drink to its caprice
keep moving violently
stotting the predators to say

I am here and can’t be moved.

Whatever I possessed has left
streets filled with the ugly and the blessed.
All that I have seen continues
revolutions, noble or ignoble,
Time the psycho tells.

vii. a chimpanzee at dusk

With the competition more extreme
a lazy dude like me
has limited ticks 
to ponder the melodrama 
you would be god to understand.

I washed out
like the profile
of a cloud against the clouds

could feel the spinning globe
sucking in comets and gravities
the dying sun living lost
unto eternal permafrost

had premonitions 
the inessential ape consults
before he slows the pace of his investigation
loses interest in the matrix of his findings
come dark nights 
you wish you was hermaphrodite
a tree self-propagating

a single-cell in need of no one

that nature had a son to kill
enemies to inspire
secrets to enlighten
daughters to defile

that there could be a plot
an art 
an answer to the question
with maudlin reverence
newscasters beleaguer us by: O,

Why god why?

The truth is hard.
No poem’s long enough to tell of it all.
No poem’s brevity suggests its void.
One poem needs a fourth, a fifth, a sixth, 

a silence to the seventh power, still
for all these words

I have not said
what is behind me.

I do not know
what is behind me.
I do not know what is ahead.
I do not know right now.

I cannot parse the animation of my arms 
to find the missing frame.

Do not understand the harbor’s quiet continuity.

Just what's behind me 
needs to push
and when it does
I’ll break
no questions asked.

So what to say but Oh, what fun 
to see the moon in morning

the Christmas lights around me
shining like the cordial gel 
a cherry bleeds 
inside its bell

not knowing how life would trend that day
at whim of chief executive obfuscator
Wall Street banker
poetry teacher 
presidential contender

snakecharming constant brinksmanship
at risk of Fuck on global scales
every day the amusement park
we all go along for the gamble.

At risk of you. At risk of me.

If there is meaning in my morass 
you will feel me how
the sun’s a little pretty 
and tomorrow is convincing
but both are very limited
in the promises they make 
against great odds.

One haze in which the beautiful mirage
revealed itself mirage
and speeding quickly toward baboon
all frontiers of my identity exhausted
by tied-to-the-shit
passions too powerful
to sink in the sand
not knowing
I would only boast to know
if I’d said anything at all
about what was past
what was in store
as January days
begot January days

and as I landed in a day
faintly reminiscent
of the day before.