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.
https://www.8thstreetpublishing.com/

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Girl in a wheelchair at the airport

Thank you for sharing with me
Your beautiful ballet in outer space

I fell in love with you at first sight
For a moment I thought you were a boy
It felt like it happened
Almost without thinking
Why did I do that
The shoes gave it away
Why do we need that
They were pink

From above clouds can look like
Skin under a microscope
The surface of another planet
Or the old standby cotton balls
The fabric of our lives

If I’m honest it was the hair that
First got my attention
The way it hung in your eyes
Like saying look at me
I can’t see you

Okay maybe it was the wheelchair too
I don’t know which came first
In this chicken or egg world
But I just wanted to thank
Thank you for the dance

Ice

Things were working
A stiffness
Prodding you in the back
Like an old boner

Attack it with a golf club
Tennis racket, garden hose
Work with professionals

People will spend a lot
To keep an ice cube
From melting in the sun

Open micing smartphones
Podcasts about poetry
Why bother being a star
When you can just look like one?

We sat with our own thoughts
And we wrote little things
On pieces of paper
That’s what we did

We ran wild in the streets
We put coins in slots
So inefficient
So disconnected
The noises told us

Mammarial Day

Take time today to
Remember dead heroes
And stoned ladies on stage

Take some more for dead heroines
The twice forgotten
Take twice as much time as that
And consider what a hero is to you

A trombone up my ass
A trombone up my ass
A little Philip Glass
And a trombone up my ass

Less attention to the speach speakers
The game gamers
The pay for prayers.
Converse with the dead.
Dead people make great listeners
You can learn a lot from a dead person.

Who painted these walls
Who put all these dents in the ball
Hunters and gatherers.
What is this stage for
It’s like
The audience forgot
How to be an audience

Sometimes in our attempts
To move boulders
We blow dust
In people’s eyes

Keeping the air clean and clear
Is all you need to see
The sculpture
Inside the enormous rock
In front of you

It’s time

The light changes things
Three weeks is a long time

The rock changes
No connection to history
It’s just the wind
The midpoint
A scab on a knuckle
Word of the day

The rock changes
So unfimiliar with real love
It doesn’t move or try.

Maybe I am the first to notice
An astronaut of rocks
I see the dents, soften

They are like I was
I am like them.

The paper lives 

The paper lives
We take it seriously
Or not

The sticks we sit on
In in waiting room

Wet leaves
Beneath  our
Hospital beds

The art work drips
From the side of the staircase

Keep us from falling out

We decorate with rocks
And native grasses
The dog smells the day
From the back steps

The millions of coffee mugs
Not properly washed
When the work creates
Dirty dishes serve many purposes

Control Respect

When you showed your father
You could hold that snake
Without flinching.

When you heard them coming
Wrapping your finger around
The plastic trigger.

When you first glossed over.
Feeling the truth in blood
Learning to hold the leash.
The thrill of releasing the lie
About meat and making things happen.

Curled into a ball, in your bed
Anticipating unknowable lightening strikes,
Listening for the RAP TAP TAP of rain drops
The thunder shook your walls
Like the sides of a roller coaster.

That day in summer camp.
The tools and the protocol
The wood in your hand
The passing of the torch.

Not control,
Respect
For distant thunder,
The child
And the childhood’s end.

Coercive Diplomacy

The leash follows your explorations
I keep my thumb on the button
I’ll bag your shit
For my neighbors

You feel free and safe

We limp along
Two bullets at the bar
Patriots under duress
Hollywood guilt
Outside the body

Boys find their purpose
Playing guns like guitars
Piece of wood
A Samari sword

At what age can I start judging?
To save a life
How big do I have to be?
How important
To me

The earth of my skin

Has been through so much
Frozen and thawed frozen and thawed
I am starting to nap
The next ice storm sends my body into hibernation
The birds need so much
They eat fast
Leave their broken shells beneath the feeder
So much time looking for the ones that dropped
Winter has no time to mourn
No time to consider gender or spirit
There is one sun for every winter

Deep State

Early buds
En route en route

Working with greatness
Requires great patience
Your bones must be hollow to fly
Something bigger than all of this
Like hunting the rarest of all things
Willing to take our lashes
Bunker down in wet socks
Peek through the cracks
Cup our fingers over our mouths
And blow on them for warmth
We hear breathing

Padded mallots bring us closer
To the truth than our original protocal

Something deeper
Than the mutual deceptions
The body rises and falls
with the breath.
We are the breath
The easy speakers
We translate the barks and the chirps
The undersides of leaves