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Matthew Wright
New Zealand

Matthew Wright is from Kaitaia, and now lives in Wellington.
He is a graduate of Massey University's communications program.
After years of studying language, he still has no idea what poetry is supposed to be.

Kitchen - Charles Olsen
An evening without intermission

Bulb sways, when it should be swinging.
Light flickers, but not nearly fast enough.
Southerly squalls bash and blip on the windows,
Almost in rhythm,
At least keeping better time
Than that damn bulb.

Oh, and the walls display a shadow show,
Random ducks, dogs, and doves,
Fingers larger than the body that possesses them;
They move with the melody
Bopping and banging
On the makeshift screen.

Keys are tapping
And eyes are searching;
Tongue is, naturally, poking,
While toes click and bunt. 
The words may not make sense
But who gives a damn?
Fingers are here to dance and attract,
Not to be coherent, 
And definitely not poetic.

Sheathed amongst the sheets
Body vibes and giggles
While stomach tightens,
Forcing out smoke machine breath.
The chilled dioxide
Gives shadow dragons
Iced flames
On the barren wall.

Suddenly the tempo drops
As discs change.
Social Distortion finds
Another state of mind
And Patti Smith enters
The 25th floor.

Now the swaying flickering bulb
Is in time
And that damn storm
Is screwing up the atmosphere,
While two dogs sing a duet
On the canopy.

Down and out

When lead balloons
Tumble down sidewalks
Like maniacal dice
On a last ditch
       The soirée

Has concluded.

House Leaks

Condensation streaks down the walls,
Ceiling corners filled with webs
Loose, stretched, lazily slung;
Spiders dangle sulkily,
To and fro,
The weeping walls
And damp bedspread
Enough to deter
Any prey.

Every crevice jammed with bottles.
Some still dripping humanity onto the carpet ,
Others full,
Ready to cause some.

Television left on all day
Tubes hot
And the colours bleeding.
God’s greatest faces now
Streaming down the screen.

Bills, receipts, and notices,
Splayed around
On deep pocket couches
Under the beer crate coffee table
And stuffed into borrowed books,
Each covered in seepages and outflows
Of soul.

And asleep on the floor
Curled and twisted
Back cracks and neck cricks
He dribbles
Through parched lips
Onto his bare chest;

More dribbles
Through worn pants

…..also the taps drip.


Sun shines
creeping up
Sidewalks and garden paths.
Stems, leaves, and branches
Reach for mother’s embrace
As ants take refuge under outstretched arms.

Light warms garbage men’s backs
While intensifying the stench in trucks.
It melts the tar on roads
As paper boy’s shoes stick,
Leaving white souls
Looking like
Trampled Dalmatians.

It stands over beaches
Laughing at surfers
Running and hopping
Across golden sand
Towards the sweet relief of water.

It burns clouds
As they float across the sky
Trying to avoid rays,

Then shines down
Through trees
To park benches
Where the homeless
And drunks
Reach out in vain
To turn off
Nature’s alarm.

Eventually, shards reach
Blinded windows
And faded curtains
Where couples
Rut in its glory,
Children slop in breakfast,
Parents reach for coffee
And writers
Start for the day
Or finish for the night.