William Matthews
A Small Room In Aspen by William Matthews

A Small Room In Aspen by William Matthews

Stains on the casements, dustmotes, spiderless webs. No chairs, and a man waking up, or he's falling asleep Many first novels begin with the hero waking up, which saves their ...

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Dire Cure by William Matthews

Dire Cure by William Matthews

"First, do no harm," the HippocraticOath begins, but before she might enjoysuch balm, the docs had to harm her tumor.It was large, rare, and so anomalousin its behavior that at ...

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A Poetry Reading At West Point by William Matthews

A Poetry Reading At West Point by William Matthews

I read to the entire plebe class,in two batches. Twice the hall filledwith bodies dressed alike, each totinga copy of my book. What would myshrink say, if I had one, aboutsuch a ...

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No Return by William Matthews

No Return by William Matthews

I like divorce. I love to composeletters of resignation; now and thenI send one in and leave in a lemon-hued Huff or a Snit with four on the floor.Do you like the scent of a ...

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The Blues by William Matthews

The Blues by William Matthews

What did I think, a storm clutching a clarinetand boarding a downtown bus, headed for lessons?I had pieces to learn by heart, but at twelveyou think the heart and memory are ...

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Homer’s Seeing-Eye Dog by William Matthews

Homer’s Seeing-Eye Dog by William Matthews

Most of the time he worked, a sort of sleepwith a purpose, so far as I could tell.How he got from the dark of sleepto the dark of waking up I'll never know; the lax sprawl sleep ...

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Eyes by William Matthews

Eyes by William Matthews

the only parts of the body the same size at birth as they'll always be. 'That's why all babies are beautiful,' Thurber used to say as he grew blind -- not dark, he'd go on to ...

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Drizzle by William Matthews

Drizzle by William Matthews

Baudelaire: 'The dead, the poor dead, have their bad hours.'But the dead have no watches, no grief and no hours.At first not smoking took all my time: I did ita little by little ...

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The Snake by William Matthews

The Snake by William Matthews

A snake is the love of a thumb and forefinger.Other times, an armthat has swallowed a bicep.The air behind this one is like a knotin a child's shoelacecome undonewhile you ...

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A Walk by William Matthews

A Walk by William Matthews

February on the narrow beach, 3o A.M. I set out south. Cape Cod Light on its crumbling cliff above me turns its wand of light so steadily it might be tolling a half-life, it might ...

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Alcide by William Matthews

Alcide by William Matthews

Walking with Jesus the slow, behind the beat. Mr. Resistance. Mr. Ohm, Mr. Exactly Lame. By some reluctance, some restraint, if it be a restraint, by some undertow and stutter, ...

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Foul Shots: A Clinic by William Matthews

Foul Shots: A Clinic by William Matthews

for Paul Levitt Be perpendicular to the basket, toes avid for the line. Already this description is perilously abstract: the ball and basket are round, the nailhead centered in ...

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Poem (The Lump Of Coal My Parents Teased) by William Matthews

Poem (The Lump Of Coal My Parents Teased) by William Matthews

The lump of coal my parents teasedI'd find in my Christmas stockingturned out each year to be an orange,for I was their sunshine.Now I have one C. gave me,a dense node of sleeping ...

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A Roadside Near Ithaca by William Matthews

A Roadside Near Ithaca by William Matthews

Here we picked wild strawberries, though in my memory we're neither here nor missing. Or I'd scuff out by myself at dusk, proud to be lonely. Now everything's in bloom along the ...

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Bedtime by William Matthews

Bedtime by William Matthews

Usually I stay up late, my time alone. Tonight at 9o I can tell I'm only awake long enough to put my sons to bed. When I start to turn off lights the boys are puzzled. They're ...

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On The Porch At The Frost Place, Franconia, N. H. by William Matthews

On The Porch At The Frost Place, Franconia, N. H. by William Matthews

So here the great man stood,fermenting malice and poemswe have to be nearly as fierceagainst ourselves as henot to misread by their disguises.Blue in dawn haze, the tamarackacross ...

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A Happy Childhood by William Matthews

A Happy Childhood by William Matthews

My mother stands at the screen door, laughing.“Out out damn Spot,” she commands our silly dog.I wonder what this means. I rise into adult airlike a hollyhock, I’m so proud to be ...

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Job Interview by William Matthews

Job Interview by William Matthews

Think you, if Laura had been Petrarch's wife He would have written sonnets all his life? DON JUAN, III, 63-4"Where do you see yourself five ...

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Mingus At The Showplace by William Matthews

Mingus At The Showplace by William Matthews

I was miserable, of course, for I was seventeenand so I swung into action and wrote a poemand it was miserable, for that was how I thoughtpoetry worked: you digested experience ...

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A Life Of Crime by William Matthews

A Life Of Crime by William Matthews

Frail friends, I love you all! Maybe that's the trouble, storm in the eye of a storm. Everyone wants too much. Instead we gratefully accept some stylized despair: suitcoats left ...

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