Matt Dennison - "Indictment" and "Gallop The Bred Horses"



His work truck leaks
brake and
power-steering fluids.
His tires sag.

Carpenter's tools
golf clubs
spare tires
clothes and
old trophies are
all locked in storage.

There is nothing beautiful or soft or living
in his house,
not even
a goldfish.

All he has,
all that he really has
is a brown-paper-wrapped
package of pornographic pictures
in his dresser drawer
beneath his socks.

His life has
to the final flat
boring nothingness
of rage at
slow drivers
bad athletes
warm beer and
failed bets on the weather

If you opened his chest
you would find a little
a little rot,
a little chalky white dry emptiness
that only rattles
when he coughs
or pukes.

The beer the beer the beer
and the jokes
and the loans
have failed.

He acts as if turning forty
were someone else's


"Gallop the Bred Horses"

“Too grabby,” my father said
of my hands rushing to break
the earthen clods before
his final slice. I should
know better the rhythm,
the routine—cut, flop,
segment, sometimes
twice—by now, the blade
warned me with relentless
strikes not fingers from my
hands too eager to shake
the worm souls loose,
knowing  to break
is better than to slice,
that one whole soul
is better than halves
no longer wiggling
but water-logged on
hooks unable to interest
the hungriest fish we’d
be lucky to see as I galloped
the bred horses of my dreams
into dark waters, wanting only
to find fullness with fullness found,
the captured to feed that which feeds.
Years later my neighbor handed me
a telegram mistakenly delivered to her.
Without waiting for another to halve
the hidden, I sliced it open to read
the news of his death complete—
my tongue forever a tent-stake
or trowel, anchoring the lost,
shoveling the gone.

(this poem has previously appeared in Sprung Formal.)

Matt Dennison's bio is available at this following link: