The Sunday Poem: Matthew Yeager




Alarm Clock


Cheap black plastic and green digital,

in arm’s reach from a mattress on the floor,

my oldest possession. Surrogate sun in a dormer,

surrogate mother in a fuzzed early form

– the unthanked voice, the backlit shape at the door –

surrogate rooster, surrogate gaze of a lover

propped on her elbow watching sleep

vanish like wetness off a painted wall.

Tiny raft atop twelve years, unsinkable shingle.

Cheap black plastic and green digital,

set to the bright-gray static between stations,

twin sister to the confusion between poems,

color of rain washing plans down a windowpane.

First noise, day’s first touched fact, fireman

that enters sleep to shoulder me away, away;

hello to that cold word “responsibility,”

hello to the tugged string, to the rolled shade

to the shock of a body, naked to the waist.

Goodbye to dreams, far off as toes, evaporating

like a dewdrops off grass-blades or a bicycle seat,

forgotten until eyes light upon them again.






My Gut Self & Gut Art


Like a face abducted by a mustache,
Or a scene abducted by a male ass,
Or a career abducted by a torn pectoral
But more like a face abducted by a mustache,
Like a head abducted by a bar of music
Like my soul abducted by a distinct sense
That I have been always sick with envy
Always! The whole time! In every act!
  there is the drug of a glass of ice cold water;
  there is the drug of a new wall color;
  there is the drug of a trip in summer.
But always! Sick with envy! Lusting
Mad for whatever it is that others have!

– See. Always I am swallowed. Always I am hungry.




About Matthew Yeager

(Photo by Mateusz Broughton)

Matthew Yeager’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in NANOfiction, Maggy, Best American Poetry 2005, Best American Poetry 2010, Bat City Review, Supermachine, Gulf Coast, et al. His short film A Big Ball of Foil in a Small NY Apartment was an official selection at thirteen film festivals in 2009-2010, picking up two awards.

Other distinctions include the 2009 Barthelme Prize in Short Prose and two fellowships from The MacDowell Colony. The son of a coal-miner’s daughter, he graduated high school in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1998. His hobbies include bicycling, visiting the chiropractor, and consuming as much content as possible as pertains to the Cincinnati Bengals. With Sean Logan, he is the co-founder of Chicken Truck Productions; he lives in Brooklyn, NY.

If you enjoyed Matthew Yeager’s poems, please spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, etc. You can read the entire Sunday Poem series here.

You can read more of Yeager’s work online. “TAP WATER” and “A JAR OF BALLOONS or THE UNCOOKED RICE” are two of my favorites.

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Note: This Sunday I’m sharing two new poems by Matthew Yeager. “Alarm Clock,” today’s bonus poem, is a reminder that Daylight Savings Time has officially come to an end. Don’t forget to set those clocks back an hour!
“Alarm Clock” and “My Gut Self & Gut Art” © Matthew Yeager


By | 2016-11-11T21:53:53+00:00 11.05.11|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

About the Author:

I’ve spent almost 20 years helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. (One friend likes to call me “the arts enabler.”) From 1999-2012 I worked at The MacDowell Colony, the nation’s oldest artist colony, but I've also done time at an arts magazine, a library, an art museum, and a raptor rehabilitation center. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, curating, and creative projects full-time. In 2015 I was named a “Top 100 Artist, Innovator, Creative” by Origin magazine. I've appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, and in 2017 I was the recipient of the Wampler Art Professorship at James Madison University. I am the founder of the Gwarlingo Salon series, which connects artists like DJ Spooky with rural audiences in the Monadnock region. In 2017 my collaborator Corwin Levi and I will publish our first book, Mirror Mirrored, which combines Grimms’ fairy tales with vintage illustration remixes and the work of contemporary artists like Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Amy Cutler. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but have called New Hampshire home since 1999. My studio is located in the historic, mill village of Harrisville. I miss fried okra, the early southern spring, and restaurants that stay open past 9:00 p.m., but rural life agrees with me. In New Hampshire I can see the stars, go kayaking or snowshoeing, watch bald eagles fish in the lake, and focus on my creative work in silence. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams; deer, wild turkeys, and frost heaves are the primary road hazards here. Although I live in the country, I’m fortunate enough to be part of a vibrant arts community that extends beyond this small New England village. The quiet days are punctuated by regular travel and frequent visits to museums, theaters, readings, arts events, lectures, and open studios around the country. (You can read my full CV here.) Thanks for visiting Gwarlingo. I hope you'll be in touch.

One Comment

  1. John Greenwood November 6, 2011 at 7:57 am

    I enjoyed both poems very much. You are accurate about Matthew’s talent. I must say, you always fill your shelves with interesting things.

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