Stereophonic Behemoth Jason Matthews Poetry

local_library Stereophonic Behemoth

by Jason Matthews

Published in Issue No. 195 ~ August, 2013

I commit the shape of your song

to words, so that it might hatch, ravenous,

into an unsuspecting future,

a malicious gift from a jealous echo

sent to loom in dark corners

and terrify small children:

The punch of your rhythm;
a prize fight in Morse.
The snare, a jab,
the kick, an uppercut.
Red vinyl gloves grow redder still,

slick between the beat and the beaten.

The spine of your groove:
Sawtooth vertebrae swing and clack,
drawing and slackening in time.
Tight up where the ribcage looms;
loose down where the tailbone shimmies.
Low, hot tremor up your ivory tower.

The keening trickle of your melody,
taut and dangerous as wet wire;

fresh nerves dripping electricity.
Singing glacial friction,

high-tension hymns to praise
the gorgeous blue burn of new skin.

You ride this beast into town
leaning careless on a Day-Glo pommel,
leaving hoofprints deep as dump-trucks.
And when the rain pools in them,
the sparrows touch down to bathe,
and burst instantly aflame.

I build your song from popsicle sticks,

and they explode; I paint its silhouette

in Krylon across the city,

and the riots stretch for weeks.

It has invaded my cells, and must be

wrung out – like poison. Like faith.

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Jason Matthews' work has appeared in VESTAL REVIEW, STAR*LINE, IN PARENTHESES, and FROM THE DEPTHS, and is due to appear in the upcoming CIPHER SISTER anthology from ThunderDome Press. He lives in Los Angeles.