Poetry by Matthew Cook

Ryan Hatfield / ryanhatfield.net

Crossing Point

A man may want to be shrewd parenthetically, alliterating a vowel or consonant, even thrice. He may thirst for another’s pool of uncalculated risks, proxy a shrewder swimmer wouldn’t dive in, no matter how lithe. The subject may not want to yield a floating article or concrete and gravel underpinning, or possess direct objects for surviving the deep end. Is liquidity pre-transaction, post, or neither? Singular and plural— is God’s god beyond pronoun(s)? He might ache for last-minute sailing, an empty spam folder, his own agenda, even inconsistencies and amphibious flight. He, like a teen lifesaver, inversely, might want to lie inert and contemplate his choices.



Single Occupancy Unit

Too many fuckless suns and moons shadow the chamber crossways. Skin like barren soil rendering the rhododendron flowerless, the whole of a cheerless summer. Demand remains unpopular, Azaleas or the fallacious have only five anthers per flower. The prodigal son buds, springing from the patriarchal tree, his epiphyte roots and leaves teething, his one good testicle insisting or ostensibly so.



The Hedging Season

Don’t tough-luck him. He refuses to tough-luck himself. One more layer of potting soil against the minutes. The jade vine husband pendulous. The double act naps lightly in unattached bedchambers. Mom and Dad give rise to a child, anything to salvage frost-bitten branches. This season’s white nettles refuse to come to bud. Mother un-tethers each seedling. Dad’s second wife (widowed by James), tends unlikely window boxes, withholding moist soil from misplaced saplings, releasing each to their own recognizance.



Matthew Cook holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was both a Maytag Fellow and an Alberta Kelly Fellow in poetry. He was awarded the Stewart Prize for his creative writing while earning his BA in Literature and Writing at the University of California, San Diego. Matthew Cook’s Pushcart-nominated poetry has appeared in Muzzle Magazine, HocTok, Assaracus, Penumbra, The Squaw Valley Review, HIV Here & Now, and Cactus Heart, among others. Matthew works as a researcher and lives in Eugene, Oregon. Please find him at www.matthew-cook.org.