Show Poem: Sat. Dec. 3, 2022 – miniBar – KC, MO

My heart of glass
With your hammer
You smashed my tennis balls
With your racket
You scratched my record
With your needle
You batter fried my long johns
With your esophagus
My house party became
An Aqua Velva night stand
The whip poor will sang
To a glass of frozen champagne gna
Its song
Not heard by many
Understood by fewer
Dribbled on my knee highs

When I was abducted into the system
I took a bow of constant commentary
On the meaningless and mundane

This is the 2022 comic relief

For the comic
It starts with suffering
I don’t know where it ends

Sometimes we say when the sun goes down
Or when we fall asleep but
I don’t really know

The last dream I remember
I was navigating a slippery hill
There was a flood of water rushing down
And I was moving very carefully

And then a little girl just zipped right past me
Slid all the way down standing up
And totally wiped out at the bottom
Without missing a beat
She bounced back onto her feet
And took off running

The next day I went back to the hill
All the water was gone
At the base we’re a bunch of records
That were all moldy and water damaged

Over the course of the past couple of years
I must have spent days cleaning
Moldy records

It’s a good thing I was wearing a mask

Despite the fact that it was Christmas Eve

And I was traveling alone
To an unfamiliar part of the city
Reading Paths To God By Ram Dass
In a seat by the door

Despite the fact that you
Left one in the car with me
Who I then grilled for info
About how to locate you
To track you down
And make you pay
For what you did to me

Despite the fact that nothing
Was taken but my
Sense of security
And faith in humanity
As my broken glasses
Hit the subway floor
After you struck me in the face
And scurried out the door
Laughing with your friends
Onto the platform

Despite the fact that
The terror in his eyes
While I threatened him
Inspired me to let him go
With no recourse

Despite the fact that I am reminded of
Another teenage boy many years ago
Screaming out the window of a
Moving vehicle startling strangers
Just to make a girl laugh

Despite the fact that after
Eighteen years in the city
I shamed myself for not being
More aware of signs to move
To another part of the train car
Or a seat away from the door

Despite the immeasurable guilt
And the lumps of victimhood
That have and will be felt from
These small cruel acts


I forgive both of you

Show Poem / Dec. 10, 2021, KC, MO (The Brick): Please be aware

The old man you shake your stick at
May be on fire

The pain shooting through his knees
Seeps into your babies bottle

A mother’s breast he had to fight for
Sleeps beneath the ground
Preserved like a future science experiment

There is nothing in the world
That cannot be beautiful and sad

The rush of picking a side
Overshadows the main dish

Who loosened the lids on all the salt shakers
Who left the refrigerator door open
Who’s footprints are in the butter

Could there be such a thing
As a mindful meat cutter

Could we eventually see
With the eyes we are born with

I see many worlds dancing and
Many worlds asleep
Many worlds dreaming
Dreaming of wakefulness
Dreaming of sleep

Show Poem/ Dec. 3, 2021, Lawrence, KS (Replay Lounge): Today I write the poem down

But that doesn’t make it more or less
Than the poetry of any other moment

When I see a silent leaf drifting through
An unseasonably warm December sky
It is no different than a mob of young sexpots
Tearing up a dance floor on a Friday night

Regret is a shortcut for the rich path of mystery

Its sugar has us dipping our tails
Into bottomless wells chasing
Our own stories over page after page scrolling. Ahead in a book that has yet to be written

Engage your ass as rudder not the carrot or the stick
Invite the ghost of radical uncertainty
Into your bungalow of shifting sand

Hitch a ride on the wave of destruction
Rejoice in the salty tears
Of unqualified compassion

What can I do

Close to me

Pick up the trash
Count all the little floaty things
I see coffee dripping
Parents dropping kids off
The race is on
So much poetry around coffee
So much trash not picked up
For weeks it blows
Sometimes longer
Set free from car windows
Escaped from cans
Stuck in fences
Bleaching in the sun
Might make it into a bird’s nest
Or lawn mower blade
A passerby’s thoughts
Eventually someone takes care

Fri. Dec. 20 @ Revolution Records (KC, MO) Release Party and open mic for Dad on 8th St. Publishing

8th Street Publishing Guild is proud to announce the release of Matt Roth’s new chapbook entitled “Dad”. Join us for an evening of poetry, music, drinks and more! An open mic will follow our featured readers. Be sure to pick up your very own copy of Dad at the reading!

8th Street Publishing Guild is Revolution Records’ in-house publisher of surreal & avant-garde poetics. To learn more, read what we’ve published, or find out how to submit, find us online or come meet us in person at the readings.

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