Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Heaven's Stump

Circling the drain
remediation always reads the same
Conversion therapy
places drift to where they might have been
Ham-fisted doctrines
melted in minutes and mortars
Trading stacks and stones
diminishing worth and bandwidth blown
Trailing wayward, ripples
in the water break forth the tides
Flatlined in script
dredging up circulation depths and debts
When the sky above
moves in layers to and fro in alternating
Grooves and fingers interlocked
coinciding clashing and chaos crashing
            It hoists its roots

MM 11/2018

Friday, August 17, 2018

Desolation Chamber

Joel Bradshaw- public domain

One more night
in desolation chamber
the hall, slow walk
absorbing glorious
chaotic remnants
through the doors
night through the walls
through dark shades
maroon-beige spirals
geometric patterns
transmutation in dark
moments met, transposition
grace and disorder
sounds marking lust
on the soul’s imprint
cowing to loneliness

As structures stand
the earth churns below
unmoving, unknowing
marking a return
to the same place
with the same key
grinding the lock
peering inside
revelations held by
dim lamp’s shine
cut in desperation’s
glance, peering down
through holes marking
blackout shade’s monument
patterns of the world
the word uncivilized

Morning cuts through
laser-printed beams
casting out patterns
imprinted vision
backs of the eyelids
senses’ uncertainty
direction the floor turns
plan for its day
faces brought forth
anonymous gathering
momentum in movement
ill-gotten gains
places of worship
altars in lines
of faces downshifting
toward sleep

MM 6/2018

Friday, May 11, 2018

Addressing you in my dream

You came to me in a dream last night,
chiding my absence and perceived disconnection,
at least the version of it dwelling in the back of my mind.
The authority on all things,
all expressions and their validity toward full realization shown in stark terms,
defined in a quantifiable way.

Someone told me how proud you must have been before your passing,
or how proud you would have been had you lived,
in some perceived validation to which I aspired.
And at that time, I guess it meant something to hear it said,
whether from you or from someone else,
although almost a decade later it’s just a hollow form
shaping its way across distance traveled to develop its context.

Attaining that passing validation but never being heard.
Life on multiple fronts where some outweigh the others,
equalization envelopes the days and it takes distance to free them.
Yet distance challenges and distorts, making time an adversary.
While death fosters its longing regret,
I pine to be seen as your peer, your sibling.

In the same way the tumor stages across to our preceding generation,
it chokes and channels its path, eliminating aura.
Only the requisite states of grace are important.
Can you trouble the dying with your sickness and regret?
Where the courage of resolving meets its volatile indulgence,
discretion keeps them with me in its distance and its absence.

Matt Mauldin
Santa Barbara


I called you the first time,
asking if you played guitar
Chad gave me your number,
he told me you were just
getting your feet wet
But a lead was a lead, and you,
so immersed, already in place

Your guitar wild and jagged
its dissonant chords chimed
to the angular bass melody
and primal scream drums,
adding tension and urgency
to crucial words

Kindred from different worlds,
old friends long and lost,
you shared defining moments
and shed illuminations on them
Through cruelty in close quarters
among young dudes in a van
Through shifting ground, we walked,
more than I deserved

When you left, I wandered
in my own direction, wondering
when I’d see you again
If here or somewhere else
the planets if in orbit
Overcoming crazy accidents
shouldering their weight, moving
through in steady grace and kindness
Sifting through its resolution
in finer strands of being

New worlds you bestowed,
connected dots and bridges
through places, bitter mileage,
context compressing space
The edge of a rocky brow
in mountains outside Missoula,
an eagle perched and watched
us contemplate its stillness
in brisk sun, the edge of March

Those gravitational pulls
defied static between poles,
clarified the noise of time
melting it away,
warmly resolving its distance
Frozen moments in places
where we’ve intersected
In Atlanta or in San Juan,
In Manhattan or in Germantown,
places to call home for the day

Redeeming a world irreparable,
dispelling cynicism, deeming worthy
of your life, and time, and days
Breathing light into its future,
brightening the mornings,
shaking them off
Optimism to carry with me
until I see you again

Gathered in your wisdom,
knees in armed extension
to give lift to your journey
the sudden cruelty now cast upon it
If I can repay redemption given
along the line of distance and years
I’ll close that pain off cold

and bring it back with me

Matt Mauldin
Santa Barbara 
MM 4/2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Eerie Morning Sun, Here

God what a balancing act
the news ringing out in siren call
cutting through static air

it’s too much to compete
with whatever else is going on
fulfillment before the desecration
the ground we walk

you and I we’re stuck
in a place where novel concepts
are worn like thinning
tread on the bottom of our shoes

every morning the sun
casts an eerie glow in shadows
glossing over
all sense of urgency and sedation

no one gets what they want
here – everywhere else the world
dies off around us eroding
it’s banks and rotting

where the water cuts
a line in sediment’s stain
drifting across the periphery
wafting across our vision

the road to hell
unraveling increments
paved with feigned nobility
soiling its wear in cracks of the soul

intentions creep in
and wear resignation eating
from the inside savoring
flesh of the host

Matt Mauldin
Santa Barbara, CA

Originally appearing in Another Way Round

Payday Loan (Tom's Book)

Robert Greene, the First Bohemian - public domain

This earth is running out of water
I offer a twenty, but you’ll take fifty
in advance of forgotten payoff

solace is a four-letter word
we’re taking it to the bank
breaking it off into crumbling little bits
rumbling pieces
spreading it around

rewritten morals of the story
rising angst filtered through shame
lust manifested seedlings
pushing bulbs
sprawling roots

down drying along these racks
concentrating efforts withering
across time and in the sun

Matt Mauldin
Santa Barbara, CA

Originally appearing in Another Way Round