William Matthews

(November 11, 1942 - November 12, 1997 / Cincinnati, Ohio)

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No Return


I like divorce. I love to compose
letters of resignation; now and then
I send one in and leave in a lemon-
hued Huff or a Snit with four on the floor.
Do you like the scent of a hollyhock?
To each his own. I love a burning bridge.

I like to watch the small boat go over
the falls -- it swirls in a circle
like a dog coiling for sleep, and its frail bow
pokes blindly out over the falls' lip
a little and a little more and then
too much, and then the boat's nose dives and butt

flips up so that the boat points doomily
down and the screams of the soon-to-be-dead
last longer by echo than the screamers do.
Let's go to the videotape, the news-
caster intones, and the control room does,
and the boat explodes again and again.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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  • Martin O'Neill (2/11/2012 4:22:00 AM)

    I love this! Such black humour, interlinked with a poet's concentration of language to convey the feel and texture of the moment. Great poem. (Report) Reply

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