Poems from Mather Schneider

POEM ON MY 35th BIRTHDAY

When I was a kid
we lived in the coun­try
and I would take long walks
on sum­mer nights
to a small pond
by an old, unused barn.

I would take all my clothes off
and jump into the black ink

and stay out there
for hours.

I felt strange
com­ing back
to my mother’s house
tele­vi­sion glow­ing
in the oth­er room

as if I didn’t
belong

as if I had just climbed
from pri­mor­dial sludge
with a secret

that I would spend my life
try­ing to speak.

THE WHALE

He's 55 years of smug blub­ber,
a bored heir of a lucky for­tune
who can bare­ly walk on the ves­tiges of his legs
float­ing in the lob­by of the fan­cy hotel
like a giant aquar­i­um.
He's wait­ing for anoth­er cab­by,
a town-car or some­thing, but I shark him
and dri­ve him to the casi­no
where he blows
thir­ty grand a month.
It's hard to under­stand fear or humil­i­ty
when you know you can eat
every­thing in your path.
His mate moon­cows beside him
like a som­no­lent mir­ror image
on this sun­ny after­noon,
rays fil­ter­ing down through the thick blue sky
into the win­dows of my cab
where the dust ris­es
like plank­ton.
His voice is a screechy vio­lin
and I'm just anoth­er suck­er­fish
in his arm pit.
It's like I'm in an under­sea ves­sel
that's gone too deep:
my ears plug up;
the crack in my wind­shield
jumps one inch
at a time.

Math­er Schnei­der is a 40 year old cab dri­ver from Tuc­son, Ari­zona. He is hap­pi­ly mar­ried to a sexy Mex­i­can woman. His poet­ry and prose have appeared in the small press since 1993. He has one full length book out by Inte­ri­or Noise Press called Drought Resis­tant Strain and anoth­er full length book com­ing in the spring of 2011 from New York Quar­ter­ly Press.

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