POETRY – 4 Poems by Matt Cummings

Poetry by Matt Cummings


Afar, off shore,
and far.

A sea.

For whom, but far.
For whom.

Awash in waste,
amongst the wherein

all the while in wait

a whence
a wherefore

a why.

Plural. A
perhaps of all.

A wall. A way.

Quite so. Quite
right. Quite calm.

A qualm.


A wave.

A sea.


A far off shore.

Away. Awash
in waste.


of want

of lack

of waste.


Quite calm.
Quiet. Calm.
Quite calm.

Await. Ashore.



A far off


A way. A shore.
Away off shore.

Afar, not shore.
A far off shore.

A way. A wait.
Away. Await.

A way.

A waste.

A far off shore.



no sound.

That’s why it’s known as
the silent tissue.

It perceives,
like a lesion.

Not to be confused,
of course,

with dark matter, which
presses forth and
vindicates the cosmos

for inflicting gravity
upon the world.

Both are

matters of time and matters
of course and matters of
form and matters of recent

record, which matters
only to mind.


is to come to a
breathless stop

at the crest of
each lifting of the

flattened foot. A
whispered desperation

in the leg. A silent
inward sigh

in the shin
to heave

eternity forward,
step by
step by step
by step

to be
not at all
ever closer
to forward.


I don’t just wear clothes, I
give myself to them, not out of
custom, but as a way to nicodemus
my way up into a permanent womb.
This is how forgetting is born.
It’s for another, an elsewhere, a
whence. A disguise to prevent
the good from being reborn
into the actual. I can’t go naked
like the insect, wearing its skeleton
on its skin. I can work, but only
and always for nothing
because I have to look at what I’m
seeing and even then it’s so much more
than sunlight that even by my eyes
I’m blind.

This four dimensional fabric

drapes awkwardly on my flabby frame,
like my wardrobe has given up on
being worn

Matt Cummings received an MFA from Goddard College in 2005. He lives in Cincinnati with his family, and teaches English at Xavier University.

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