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Matthew Rotando

Two Poems


Story of Learning

After I learned the language, I learned it well.  Then went down to the lake.  I said, “Hey, Pond, you got rabbit-congress, how about witch go seventeen something something?”  Pond said, “Man, the language is not like that.  You better learn.”  So I learned.  I learned and learned.  Then said to Old Man Killer Whale, “Nice for this mine, your thermos mine, your brown interval mine, your Viggo Mortenson.”  Killer Wheel said, “Not far enough yet, son.  But if you study, your own reward will be that you studied.”  Shivering and shaking, I studied and learned.  I learned hand and by hand and hand stealing and victim-focused learning.  Then I met Wall Of Dogs.  Wall said, “You look like another dog for me.”  I said, “Yes, cylinder and me talking—like night fighting—and yes or same project makes blame, the astrolabe, wicca, not chancy chancy, all these marriages end in more desire.“  Wall Of Dogs spoke, and said, “Only that last bit showed some learning.”  So I made the Walking Wall my right side master, learned something else on my left and in my front I wished for a gymnastics container.  I said, “I’ve learned.  This old language is mine, and easy now.  I have it for naming and knowing and learning.“  Then Hey Pond, Old Killer Whale Man, and Dog Wall said, “Ho! Ho!, Pond Consonant Boy, look at you, handclapping for bottles and vowels and cans!”

I Haven’t Been Comfortable Enough To Take Anyone For Granted In Years

Just McCorkel. Old rusty McCheswick. Eye stand, deer stand, shadow. You happier, you buy and wide. You stalk a grey tree. But I’m glad, because you’re Canadian, and my boyfriend wears your shirts. He never mixed with my parents, or really even tried. Myrtle Beach had to do. You can, you know, Canadian. You mix parts of your life, can you bring parrots? Have you met who we just hired, the participles? There’s farming and using an axe. Do you have a problem with chicken? The yams. The two ways we should work together, the pants, the dysfunction of this. The lesson I take from this is that a guy like your dad is what he does. On TV, even when they kick you out, they don’t really mean it. I love that.

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