- From The Gut Sonnets Ode on Cartoon Dancing Skeletons
They’re perfect, like x-rays of Jesus. Brainless, Brain-free, they grin continuously, crazily, and clack Against themselves as they dance! They dance And I feel great! Because a skeleton isn’t sad Though he drums his drum with some other skeleton’s Femurs! The absence of a brain is like A party hat. The mind’s a cat. When it’s away Or dead, all the bones get loose and play.
Down deep, there is a thing in me that feels Zero toward my fellow beings. It’s not hate, But a type of ecstatic carelessness Born of fact. We are bones, and what bones do Is dance! They dance till they collapse Atop the dirt, which then pulls them in like water. . . . [End Page 21]
Matthew Yeager’s poems have appeared in NANOfiction, Sixthfinch, Bat City Review, Supermachine, Gulf Coast, and others as well as in Best American Poetry 2005 and Best American Poetry 2010. His short film “A Big Ball of Foil in a Small NY Apartment” was an official selection at thirteen film festivals in 2009–10, picking up three awards. Other distinctions include the 2009 Barthelme Prize in Short Prose and two MacDowell fellowships. He has been working the last three years on developing and writing a serial television drama tentatively called Savages of the Ohio, a true history of merchant adventuring and land speculation in the 1760s. The son of a coalminer’s daughter, he graduated high school in Cincinnati in 1998 and has lived in New York City since 2002. In 2011, he took over as the cocurator of the KGB Monday Night Poetry series. A book of poetry is forthcoming at some point.