NEW POETRY BY MATTHEW STEWART, MAT RICHES, AND RALPH MONDAY
MATTHEW STEWART works in the Spanish wine trade and lives between Extremadura and West Sussex. Following two pamphlets with HappenStance Press (both now sold out), his first full collection, The Knives of Villalejo, was published by Eyewear Books in 2017. He blogs at http://roguestrands.blogspot.com/
MAT RICHES is from Norfolk, but lives in Kent. He works for ITV. His work’s been in Poetry Salzburg, Under The Radar, South, Poetry Scotland, Poet’s Republic, Orbis, The Interpreter’s House, And Other Poems and Algebra of Owls. He’s on Twitter as @matriches and blogs at https://matriches76.wordpress.com/
RALPH MONDAY is Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN., and has published hundreds of poems in over 100 journals. A chapbook, All American Girl and Other Poems, was published in July 2014. A book Empty Houses and American Renditions was published May 2015 by Aldrich Press. A Kindle chapbook Narcissus the Sorcerer was published June 2015 by Odin Hill Press. An e-book, Bergman’s Island & Other Poems was published by Poetry Repairs in March of 2017, and a humanities text was published by Kendall/Hunt in 2018. Vol. 2 of the humanities text is expected in late 2019.
Just another Monday morning
Splashing off his sleep
and shrugging on his suit,
grabbing his gloves, his hat
and kissing his wife’s neck,
he heads for the kitchen
to sit with a coffee
and wait for it to act.
gritty at the bottom,
it sharpens his senses
just enough to get him
striding down his driveway
towards the empty hearse
without a need for thought
of where he’s going.
A wheezing heater keeps you in your shed
after dark. The flat edge of the slipway
comes near for you and this fibreglass ark.
This work is what you must do, a hand-built
reason to persist. It’s not what we want
you to say, but it’s what we need to hear.
You’ve used every single ounce of gumption
in hauling both you and your toy away
from this industrial estate dry-dock.
Chandlers post orders for last finishes
and fixtures. The tiller’s ash gets varnished.
We reread your list of final wishes.
It’s time to mark and paint the waterline—
anti-foul below and smash a bottle
on the hull. We nail in the whisky plank.
Love the Fiber Optics
God may be dead but love is not. The internet has revived
Strange thing the way that time is not linear or cyclical,
but rather a weird juxtaposition of images, memories, experiences
all jumping about like pieces in a puzzle.
The way surfing works, the dead made living, all fitting into the
living room picture frame, Scotch and sofa, roses and violins,
a few tapping keys like Poe’s raven at the window.
Here, controlling the screen, and forgotten goddesses of the 40s, 50s
live again, images placed in the mind and they know timê and kudos,
but more importantly Kairos, a moment of indeterminate time where
Like now and Gigi Montaigne, Mollie O’Day sit in this room
drinking Turkish coffee, giggling, alive in death, digital tropes that bring
with them the lost values of another time, stirring romance of creatures
who know that this instant matters.
They love me as I them, the more so for bringing conversation, drink, flowers,
to black and white images snapped decades ago that is the present moment.
Alas that the relationship ended before it began.
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