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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Four Nov-Dec 2023.
A Vision, peoms by Anthony DiMatteo.
We ride into a dead zone.
Are we breaking out or in?
Someone’s been stealing sand,
black pines slumped over a pit.
Ten blocks from home, we’ve
stumbled on the end of our race,
busted, out of luck, wrack line
all that’s left of a mall.
A man’s living in the woods
off a road next to smashed gates,
once an entrance to a theater.
“Who’s that man?” my son asks
as if I know him somehow.
The man motions to join him.
“Just keep riding,” I tell my son.
My son says, “he must be lonely.”
“Yes, could be, and he could be
anyone of us down and out,
forced to live the barest life.
Best we keep our distance.”
My son looks at me hard.
How to teach him what trust is,
who to trust and who not,
when many believe in nothing
and seek solely what they lust?
My own creedless creed
is near a nihilistic kind,
my ideals of love of earth
and faith in mankind rooted
in fictions to which I’ve made
commitment, a paradox,
labored, I admit, but not
in the way clouds float in air,
more like the hermit crab
who turns an abandoned shell
into a transient home.
Yes, love and freedom in love
I hold the ground on which
I stand, yet I would not have
my son hurt loving those
who don’t deserve. We stand there
taking the broken world in,
what we are, were, and will be,
meaningless to the universe
that will likely let us
go extinct sooner than rats
claiming what’s left behind.
Someone had driven a car
off an asphalt slab into a ditch
that’s turned into a stream –
or is the stream free of its cage?
The sky warns those who hear.
“It’s getting dark. Time to go,”
I tell my son who says, “We
gotta come again.” “But why?”
I ask. “Haven’t seen enough?”
“It’s cool here, a great place
to explore.” He makes me think
how disorder lures the mind,
holding true to what exists,
things longing to return
to what is not, as when
we sleep or when we die,
or enter a zone of play
in which our fate is cast.
What the Waves Say
We inspire everyone who sees us,
make them erase anything they write,
delude painters with our changing light
and turn homes into bric a brac, if we like.
We welcome lives in thousands of forms
if brave enough to cross our wrack line.
We roll on proud in our moving moment,
then curtsey with a self-applause of foam.
Sunlight blares to bless and crown our crests
while our troughs stir sleeping sands of gold.
We never read messages in a bottle
and can’t drown broken hearts though people wish.
The wind and the moon think they rule us,
but our bottom line bestows the final swish.
Lift open the lid of my head
until my childhood pours out.
Blow both my socks off
so blades of grass pierce my pride.
Make me kiss a cold stone in a stream
thinking it my dead mother’s face.
Bring back dreams of flying.
Turn my backdoor into a launch.
Burn my cynicism to a crisp.
Fan my fear of desire.
Grant me the gift of annihilation.
Sing the song of the suicide.
Break the mirror in which I live.
Let love reveal its greater law.
© Anthony DiMatteo
Anthony DiMatteo’s third poetry collection Secret Offices is just out. Why secret? One can’t take credit for an office dedicated to the pursuit of beauty and fairness as a poet must be. No one knows what one is doing in such a search, a prerequisite for it. His previous collection In Defense of Puppets explored the way we imagine things when we speak for others or they for us. A recent chapbook Fishing for Family charted the experience of language from infancy to senescence. Recent poems have appeared in The Connecticut River Review, Cimarron Review, The MacGuffin, North Dakota Quarterly, One Art and The Galway Review. A professor of English, he has defended the mysteries of literature and art at the New York Institute of Technology for over 30 years. He lives on the Outer Banks with his wife Kathleen O’Sullivan, pianist, designer and fellow empty nester. Please feel free to leave a trace at his e-tent: https://anthonydimatteo.wordpress.com