Matt Turner: Poems

7 minute read

"A torso leaks into the soil / A city stands without a torso"


“la forme d’une ville change plus vite, hélas! que le coeur d’un mortel”

In space, an enormous arm descends
Into the city go the dajie, boulevards
Without light I’d vanish
Blocks of ren built from starlight
The radial dimness
It deforms their physiologies
In the middle of the sky is effort
With no city, space is disjointed
Ren gets up and walks
Villages shat out on poisonous rivers
A torso leaks into the soil
A city stands without a torso
Untie Orion’s Belt of Orion
That’s dajie in the kitchen making skyscrapers
An erotic scene that blots out the moon


It was Friday
when I took the MetroNorth
to the Botanical Garden
(I have Fridays off)
I have a membership
that is due again
but I haven’t received a paycheck yet
so, technically, I’m broke
at the moment

But taking advantage
of a final uncharged entry
I went only to the conservatory
(the rest of the park
well, I’d seen it too often
I knew it like my face)
And as I walked in
I knew I’d be on camera
so was very self-conscious
until the bloom
which happened almost instantaneously, began
and the attendant staff
and visitors
all grimaced, and some laughed
it really did smell terrible
and the flower was huge and great


you’re a black sun rises through the rays
you’re an iron candy woods
you’re a mountainous exterior & the mons venus &
you’re in Beijing with a few stained poems
you’re a cat’s paw in mouth, a viper in mouth
you’re “掙眼看,乾坤覆載,一幅大春宮” where
you’re resembles plein air
you’re the dull lodge pine & the sweet scents en arriviste
you’re the Pandava’s insides-outsides talk & the eyes are Joan’s
you’re a New York of windows that Ledas the reflection

Glug glug glug the faces
can’t hear you vroom vroom
vroom dodododo stand aside
cars are passing
I’m late 5 minutes
it’s hard to see look at my
watch you keep tight surveillance
it’s an airport and I can also see an airplane split then built
it’s just taking off it’s heading this way split over ground and house and fence
flash keeeeee it’s getting near
eeeeeeeee eeeeeeeee eeeeeeeee teal and yellow
eeeeeeeee eeeeeeeee dododododo and bars
see the passengers there on foot on the grass super
dododo dododo from here gwrhooooooooo
trees almost knocked down ooooooo imposed over
that’s some low-altitude flying
I wonder if they always fly so low terraformed paper toss-outs
now then we’re off keeeeee gwrhooooooooo
did you know those guys it’s invincible
they might know us even if we don’t know them my head’s a block
they seem unaffected by the airplane maybe they’re used to it
rhiriririri rhiriririri woo woo woo woo woo
woo woo woo sounds like a siren
woo woo woo kwreeeen chuka chuka chuka
chuka chuka chuka woo woo woo



Comes after leaving and arrives after departure
This is the face the poet hides in the current
What country is this here that ages with effort
Lucky the poet breaks off the object
Slowly the speech ravels together to work
Crammed into the same determined finger
What hidden facts bind
The sleep can begin
Things can’t be revealed in verse
Down there the bodies glisten but up above they labor
Down below the lights are on and up above a deposit is made
Titles are asserted without consent but the action happens
Standing in a desert like on a stage
Propelled by the eye to turn
Age becomes no equivocation
Appearing to pretend this indecision or twilight
Drawing then quartering the voice
The hammers one poet can hold
Rotting interiors stippled with droppings
To be inside of not the inside as in interior but the heart of it
Where living in the parkett takes determination
The hammer drawn by skyscrapers
A month passed isn’t spooling it
Every pen driving across vellum
Rather than cohere the mission is dissolve in it
The grave sounds no one hears are more glorious
A fish swims grasping at each approaching object
Every thing inflicts upon reason pure pleasure
Scratches across the belly of time as if on glass
Stranded somewhere in the desert dies
No recompense or investiture or title
From limestone to illusion everyone cried
A recompense of light is broadcast
The voice it’s worked-over and was always worked-over like a babe in thorns
Muscles recall themselves and tense
The poet spreads across the fingers now counts on them
The sway of the matte finish in the eyes haven’t told
They display like stars across a screen


Fire forges fire in each block
Stretched across itself a mask cracks and is flames
Outside window burns in resignation
Ecstasy of the poet’s face a Manichean image
The elderly practice a style of illusion until the stone runs out
Pulls the horizon manufactured here into the dreams of the poet
The mind projects itself to eeeeeeeeegh
A voice comes through the spleen
A radio character shakes off a cloying voice
The voice vanishes into transparency and sees little but touch flip on
Another vague voice rips through the sound barrier and speaks
Time in front of the mouth disengages at the fulcrum
Relaxing into the wheel while this is gears mechanics
The hand that draws the poet out of the mouth
Tamps the ground with paper
The bulk of the wind on the other nerve domain
This is a thinner window than glass like the eye is
Caulked eye on the face an itch under the mask
Fear undoes the poet with hidden accidents that return and force the hand
There the words unroll flanked by spells and unheard song
No spool of film bends in the light
The poet bends as low as the sun and retches
The poet lies about minerals and land and cityscape
The decades of practice but no sound
The audience nods in agreement on the periphery
Ghosts fill the window and flames the hall
A cocktail glass then a light
The antiquities where they all live
Dusty white tile mildewed in the tropics
Hidden beneath the mask a style
This error that nothing happens
All at once the poet touches a flash bulb and unscrews its bolts
Building comes down on its nerve
On nerve and not mineral fact the mirror opens
The poet slaps me out of my hand
No grief but for the skyscrapers
A storm of paper cuts the body of the city
From between songs a figure emerges
Figure blown out


Emits the breath of exhaustion
Of a screed on a cloud
Sense of articulation not more than a perfume
A hierarchy winding all the way to the end
The poet never corrects his pidgin sense
No tears on the vellum
Pen skipping over the grave indentation
The intaglio isn’t a moment in the world
It’s a ringing in the poet’s ears
Another tract found in the innards
On top of the prehistoric palace
Knocks a plane down and warps the engine
Smoke flying over smoke
Slaps on the wet ground
A leap across a two-dimensional surface
Inside the conservatory the flora slays the mind
Head falls where voices over the wind
Resignation over enemies in the cities
For a second the the poet gets in the car
A man goes out to Tennessee
A metempsychotic body gliding across the asphalt
The poet inside the steering wheel
Emitting lines from within the parallel lines spreading out like lines of shade
The finger smudges the shade it’s night
This apartment building is a dollar bill
Buildings in two dimensions like volleys
The mask here on the right hand and here on the left hand
The Jacobins arrive
The sound of their speech poking through the steel
Unravelling a single thread the audience cools down
A phosphorescent glare goes across the sheet and the ink splashes


Down over the grid the traffic diced in lineal miles
In the mirror of expediency
Blocks and blocks of prose go by like fists
Beneath the blueprint the city looses waves of high-rises
The poet sits by the phone listening
A blanched voice call squawks like an arriviste does
A found streetlamp still bears electricity in it
Voices in the tinnitus ear
Oily waves in the tepid ocean and shouting victim
Always the mask of the nation
Embassy compound residencies drawn
An open plaza surrounded by trapezoids and a row and an arc
The poet of grace boarding an ocean liner as it unloads
Water written in one eye even though incognito
White city suite ashen
White on white becomes night
The city pursues itself in arborescent dreams
Blasts the sun from the pen-hand
By now thrown his hands up to the sun as the ride begins tapping out
Ensemble holds course through traffic
Becomes a spirit and moves into the vessel
The point of the arrow is to hit the target
The point of the poem is the city hits it
The poet’s one eye surveys and elects
This night a trio no a duo
The poet sits in while I’m looking across at another guitarist
The poet sliding across the chamfer
Walking the crooked leg
A limited palette means the colors are shouting
When the guitars voice the names
Crystals through which light passes yet returns
The charade of physical achievement
On the brink of the sound of construction