Issue 16: Matthew Carbery



they carry change to a logical end

in sleeping in, a lengthy sequence

of missed meetings, misdirection

the key to the city, what feels like

eras waiting in lines            a short

message sent on and ended us—

for which I paid, data roaming,

and, stubborn, fell away gathering

mosses on just the one side


blame the medication for the flat fall

the endurance sweat of cardiovascular

tension something like a howling of

blood, the body its own anechoic

chamber—still there is some thing

a subtle rumble letting applicants

down lightly, the brave soiling

themselves in the face of the face

of the rock, the sheer bulk of it,

this terror at deep vein thrombosis

a worry of donuts before departure

in a panic falling on the laps either side

to stretch into some space, ferried

thru cloud forms, an infantile longing


black mountain mettle, the peak

which staggers offward at a lean

wind’s dark poem no leeside shelter

any where is every where lost here

the tracks and the track’s tracks

beaconlike and suspended as ellipses

measured not in time in open fields

of current, of galvanisation at such

altitude, a shortness of breath given

as evidence of the lyric intervention,

his obituary against the grain of liquor

proof at least that livers are for living

and sclerotic at base camp, renal failure

at the summit, his brain flooded with

ammonia and so with her as a wolf,

her cubs each a difference ochre hue

chewing on bits of entrail he’d dropped

on the trek, his thinglike past

tracking him from station to station:

thin, white, coked up by real chill,

abandoned off stage, by a motley

of severe pals, given up—



tear it off

before it sets

you & i

stuck to the seats

the heat wet yet


the act of acting

making synonymous


with them

a life sentence                        

like “I lived.”

etched into

the marrow

the very narrow


of self-improvement

aloft an accident

happening out

of or in its place

at a distance caught

in a spectrum

of disorders & change



the gruff ontology of the radio

without waves too long static

the blood on the riser

someone flooded the cavity

with wrestled pet names

brought to bear lapses

of judgment we'd pay for

in steady cartographical steps

it must be in the dusts

in their shallow reliefs

where the line falls where the

hair parts when the bottom falls out

drawn over

steady hands

rough drafts

print palimpsests

in unison in the steam on interior windows

the closeness of writing which is the closeness of reading

the closets of meaning the cloisters where feeling reels off listing at great angles the pivots of sense slick with radically empirical sheen the newness of being immediate and actual no fact but it itself

the orbital grasp of organs

the first person to see

the first person periplum of living among

of amongness and the amongst as fact

the facticity not of places but of being placed

the drone anathema


“the mid-atlantic ridge

profoundly influences

the regional water circulation

system and separates the deep

seas of the eastern and western

atlantic ocean from pole

to pole. within the maritime

area, the mar extends

from the lomonosov ridge

in the arctic ocean through

iceland to the azores, and further

south. the mar is

a spreading zone

where new earth

crust is built, leading

to a slow separation

of continental plates.”


lighter fluids & a fresh loaf  

shadows of clouds

mattressing the sound

we eloped in essence

prior to the fact of the swing

of discretion in the short form

my pot belly & sagging tits—

this loutish reader:

you reclined to me

inclined to be where

were you they who they

lay laid out there in the bay

supine like a question mark


one eye on the red brief case

tho long as it is its sleeplessness

and looks from here like weight

would it go in the hold, or could

you store it overhead, or do you

handcuff it to a wrist like some

pan-eastern-european muscle in a film

one of those vehicles for “hard men”?

not that the poetic voice wants any

trouble, mate, or wants itself to be

effete, answering the personal ad of

the opening notes of notes towards

a supreme fiction, but also failing to

have had the nerve to spit in public

in front of the aged, and glare

from beneath a hood sat exclusively at

the back of the bus, top floor if on

a double decker. the petty type writer

might sneer how stupid, empty, how damaged

but the penned in side parted poet

his own third person shucking fourth wall

for affect, he’s a thug, has a gang, leaves

tags in the form of symposium invites, incomprehensible

reading groups meeting twice monthly

with a view to unravelling the glory of

Tom Hardy’s minor verse

Matthew Carbery is a poet and associate lecturer of creative writing working at the University of Plymouth. Before this, he studied with poet-critic David Herd in Canterbury, where he completed his PhD on the post-Charles Olson long poem in America. He writes almost exclusively in the long poem form, and has recently completed work on Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone, a sequence set above and beneath the Atlantic ocean.


Copyright © 2016 by Matthew Carbery, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.