matthew henriksen






Detour left will not lead

That’s what I do daily rather than eat

Why question

When you can linger at the train station like a gas chamber

I have heard poets say they do not dream

Rather than rhetoric I use these words

Many of you and there are only a dozen in the room

Do not you are not poets

I only know the better option was to become a flower

I did that poorly but poverty did justice for me

I don’t have to admit I know nothing

But I will and won’t fake it with imagery



The road map that’s what some come in here for

I can’t even find my way to the road

I’m sleeping on

I remember yesterday she told me about good poetry

By explaining how bad it was

Listen to that fear

And do not fear

And do not snicker

In that poem you will find the door at the end of your life

And it does not help to stare at it

And blink

It will not go away once you see it

And it will not close once you open it

Only this is the book you have been reading

You set it down but kept listening

And now it is silent



What I hear makes its own creations

It does not get any less comfortable living in the mind

When the mind can make what happens

What I hear makes its own desperate sounds

Listen to the mind’s ease

I tell my mind

Even when I have to tell it with my hand

I make the mind obey this vehement body

This eye ever glimpsing off the precipice of the imagined

Ground I walk on

Feet hardly ever able to agree with the earth

This is not walking

As I sit here remembering I have walked

Into a morning that already had a shape



A sliver creeps up the side of my spine

Drawing blood with a razor where I have no blood

I am sympathetic but not a surrealist

And would not scratch the moon with a nail to see behind it

I just want the noise to stop

For a second

And that won’t happen

I am fine with every animate thing bludgeoning me at once

Everything is smaller than me

And cannot win

And cries

When it must be put to bed