Thursday, September 6, 2012

William Matthews

Attention, Everybody

Gloom is the enemy, even to the end. The parodies of self-knowl-
edge were embossed by Gloom inside our eyelids, and the abrasion
makes us weep, for no reason, like a new bride disconsolate in the
nightgown she had sewn so carefully. The dog comes back from the
fields, lumpy with burrs. I put down my pen and pull them out; it is a
care I have taught him to expect. I've always said it would be difficult.

I'm declaring a new regime. Its flag is woven loam. Its motto is:
Love is worth even its own disasters. Its totem is the worm. We eat
our way through grief and make it richer. We don't blunt ourselves
against stones--their borders go all the way through. We go around
them. In my new regime Gloom dances by itself, like a sad poet.

Also I will be sending out some letters: Dear Friends, Please come
to the party for my new life. The dog will meet you at the road, barking,
running stiff-legged circles. Pluck one of his burrs and follow him here.
I've got lots of good wine, I'm in love, my new poems are better than
my old poems. It's been too long since we started over.

The new regime will start when you lift your eyes from this page.
Here it comes.

--William Matthews

[in The Best of the Prose Poem: An International Journal, 2000]


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