Oct/Nov 2014 Poetry

Two Poems

by David Mathews

Artwork by Susan Klebanoff

Artwork by Susan Klebanoff

Those Days Between Shifts

with apologies to Robert Hayden

I'd get home to get in a morning nap.
When lucky, I'd hear the alarm beep and wake.
Then with burning eyes and a back that ached
from overnight unloading and stocking,
slowly I would get up and go to school,
holding back caged angers in my head.

I stayed awake thanks to smokes and coffee.
When I had extra money, Red Bull and pills.
On the bus, in the library, or the cafeteria—
I'd find a quiet island of nothing and write.

I'd show my work to my professors
who had time to look. I always thanked them
for speaking and putting up with me,
the Nick Bottom of my university,
with my idiotic ideas and meek poems...
What did they know, what did they know
of my naïve hopes and lonely wilderness?


My Sister's Things To Do List After Her Fiancé Broke Off Their Engagement

with apologies

Make Oscar an appointment for the vet. $75?
Figure out what bills are next.
Find a second job.
Send out bridal thank yous.
Get off wedding registry.
Get rid of old bills, CD's, books, clothes.
Write in journal.
Clean stove.
Watch good movies.
Make a calendar.
Call some friends.
Water my plants.
Study for my current job.
Play guitar.
Clean coffee pot...


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