Matthew C. Henriksen

BURNED OUT BOY


He has small wounds for eyes and sits, located at the back of his chair,
hunched over in the hood of his black sweater,
staring into the coldness of the black stove.

He thinks of gas slithering into his brain.
The birds sing like seething.
He inhales smoke from his head by covering his ears and his mouth and his nose.

He believes he is a burnt up end
of something black.
He feels ashes rolling off his shoulders.
He thinks he’s a pile on the floor, spreading out.



THE CULT OF PYTHAGORAS’ PHOTOGRAPHER SPEAKS TO YOUR MOTHER



Eyeing stars through a cracked lens
I photograph motions I make on my bicycle,
The round and swirl of whatever-it-is as I glide
Into mouths with black, ever-receding tongues.
Here, here, the circus-makers say: this death, not that death.
Or a dream far from death, a woman dressed in black, beckoning.
And always a lair under layers I can’t dig through.  While a woman waits
At home knitting onions to a pillowcase, or stuffing a turkey with air.
I ride along the docks mixing potions in my shoes, sweat and gravel.
I walk the tracks across the rail bridges: each step a window
In the water, smatter of night flowing in the sewage and fish
In early metamorphic stages on return to mythic forms.
I have photographed galaxies pooling after a maelstrom
In a puddle, and urged after it, only to come hard upon my body,
And it hurts, it really hurts to be so alone.



THE SPIRIT SPEAKS TO THE BODY IN PRE-DAWN LIGHT, DREAMING OF THE COUNTY FAIR GROUNDS


Nothing, my friend, is worth shotgun sunsets
Or heat of wind.  Nothing is worth the sun,
Golden-egged moon on helium.  Nothing,
The hallucination, is worth calling
Cops over.  You are worth nothing, my friend.
Even this house, full of thieves we can’t find,
Is worth nothing.  Nothing, my friend, is worth
Light, as it comes through the shades, hits carpet
Like a spilled vase, the milk pouring from your eyes.
Milk pours from my eyes, too.  Nothing is worth
So much milk, the sunrise curdling clouds
And one of us has slipped off to the bathroom,
Calling for hens to drag us off to war,
Where nothing is worth the place where we were.


* * *

Matthew C. Henriksen received a B.A. in Writing from Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and currently is pursuing an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Arkansas. His poems have appeared in Fox Cry Review and canwehaveourballback?