Airea D. Matthews is a Cave Canem and Callaloo Fellow. She is currently a lecturer of English at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she earned her MFA, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Poetry 2015, The Missouri Review, The Baffler, Callaloo, Indiana Review, WSQ, Kinfolks and Muzzle. Matthews' fiction and essays appear in SLAB, Vinyl, Michigan Quarterly Review and Vida: Her Kind. She is the co-executive editor of The Offing, a channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Sunday, 29 March 2015
SEXTON TEXTS ON INDEPENDENCE DAY
Sat. July 3, 8:14 am (1/2) Because there was no other place I went home away from the scene of crazy-making senses came back before dawn in heavy July Sat. July 3, 8:15 am (2/2) my purse wide, thighs wet keys set down bedroom bound where one child also sleeps. Tiptoed as if a strange thief. Thought of my blotted out x’s— for this is the mind’s prison not a playground Sat. July 3, 10:31 am Sorry. Fell asleep reading Rimbaud. Same dress from the night before once I would have thought nothing of this. Today I feel like Gomer before Hosea chose her. Maybe I will conjure Jezebel or Tamar through the oracle. They were thrown into Hell, too Sat., July 3, 10:45 am I am rarely alone but the children, those little muses, have left to wander. Recall my dream now: dead deer mice in the garage, albino possums, ancient doors Sat., July 3, 11:15 am If I draw my blinds tightly enough sunlight loiters smoky dust begs to be let in like a Maine Coon in Brooklyn, outside double panes, in the throes of heat Mon., July 4, 7:23 am Morning. Ants run errands. My kitchen floor finds them second-line marching to crumbs tri-sected bodies shouldering scraps twice their size, such scattered strength! Mon., July 4, 7:52 am (2/2) Gather or Scatter: ants are Titans, Atlas, sky vaulters! I made that up, but do you get it? Mon., July 4, 7:51 am (1/2)Foragers are dumb muscles packing meal lumps fallen from some child’s grubby hands, not even for themselves. Long live the queen! Nobles eat well & often. Social orders exist in every world on every back Thurs, Aug. 1, 10:49 am (2/2) Her son rides up and down my cul-de-sac to drown out his mother’s yell. He waves to me. A package comes. I must sign. . . Thurs, Aug. 1, 11:01 am My fingers still smell like last night’s spent seed. I wonder if he has washed me off. Watercolor, Watercolor Thurs, Aug, 1, 10:47 am (1/2) a distant droning, it’s all grizzled buzz one neighbor lives in his shed sawing wood for a project he won’t finish. Outside, a Jamaican lady screams to her estranged lover, “I don’t know you! Ya’ come to m’door everyday beggin’.” Fri, Aug. 2, 12:01 am A lifetime of such small reminders A lifetime of blotted outs coming on or in. This fucking hunger! This fucking! Fri, Aug. 2, 12:07 am Should have gone to live in Amsterdam and had mixed-up, kinky-haired babies Fri, Aug. 2, 12:15 am Strangers would call you ‘mammy’ for taking your tiny joys public. This is the small life with long days in it & nothing to force clock hands closer Fri, Aug 2, 6:41 am (2/2) around the block. Faces not plumped or juvedermed or botoxed, yet all that holds back a soul? skeleton squeezed under wrinkling corsets Fri, Aug 2, 6:39 am (1/2) Every here same old crows, same ruined perches. Crones with young lovers and that man who drags his dull wife’s fat dog while he jogs
SEXTON TEXTS DURING POLAR VORTEX
Thurs., Jan. 19, 3:18 pm “Let us eat air, rock, coal, iron. Turn, my hungers.”-Rimbaud Thurs., Jan. 19, 4:01 pm Meanwhile, I’m trying. God knows. But mother unearthed each small bloodmain under her gauzed wrists. She fought a strange compulsion to press her mouth against her right pulse, taste the throbbing veiny eels her crooked lovers forsook drink from blind lakes of their leaving, undo their digging Thurs., Jan. 19, 4:32 pm (1/2)brick ledge, scarp fault no matter how much silt I packed into the hole, no matter... Thurs., Jan. 19, 4:33 pm (2/2) Trenches never fill never unslope else they cease being soldier’s shallow shelter Sat., Jan. 21, 7:17 am Ice storms, splintering crystals, of course. Today, everything wheels and bone touch, every slick black lies under rock salt Sat., Jan. 21, 8:01 am (1/5) Every day, my father fell six feet into a vat of tar. Burned his neck, ankles, veins. We saw his viscous shoeprints blanched blisters and salve. Hours after, when he touched any door- knob, steam rose from the brass. Sat., Jan. 21, 8:03 am (3/5) Recall he wanted to go home, meaning, maybe, Sat., Jan. 21, 8:02 am (2/5) He died for the last time on a Monday, or Tuesday or Wednesday or was it Thursday or Friday? Sat., Jan. 21, 8:06 am (5/5) point is: he died at some point during some week Sat., Jan. 21, 8:05 am (4/5) back to tar streets