Poetry: Selections from Matthew Schultz



Another Lost Angel
The Doors, “L.A. Woman”
 
A woman stepped through the side-door of The Whisky and into an alley glistening with pink neon spilling over broken glass. She propped the door with an empty bottle of Chivas. The woman lit a cigarette and grooved to the music squeezing out through the cracks. The man with the microphone asked, “Are you a lucky little lady in the city of light?” Her mind raced. Motorcycles growled along the Sunset Strip. A stingray the color of the Moon cruised below the traffic lights. Its license plate read: hyacinth. The woman finished her cigarette and scraped the dog-end along a rough line of mortar that pointed toward the Hollywood Hills. She combed her fingers through fiery hair and they came away black with ash.



Strangers Passing in the Street
Pink Floyd, “Echoes”
 
A woman with hair like wildfire walked a moonlit alleyway stitching together a constellation of puddles that would be gone by morning. She came upon one shaped like a spaceship and bent her head to see into its depths. It was a beacon from another dimension. Her tears fell upon the surface causing ripples to bloom like a Dahlia flower unfolding. It’s slow spread as if a glacier. Her reflection opened its arms, inviting her into the water. She ran to the end of the block and across the street, weaving through the downtown traffic. At the corner, a woman with hair like wildfire watched her plunge into a moonlit alleyway.
 
A woman with hair like wildfire walked a moonlit alleyway stitching together a constellation of puddles that would be gone by morning. She came upon one shaped like a spaceship and bent her head to see into its depths. It was a beacon from another dimension. Her tears fell upon the surface causing ripples to bloom like a Dahlia flower unfolding. It’s slow spread as if a glacier. Her reflection opened its mouth and said, “Rearrange me ‘til I’m sane.” She ran to the end of the block and across the street, weaving through the downtown traffic.
 
A woman with hair like wildfire walked a moonlit alleyway stitching together a constellation of puddles that would be gone by morning. She came upon one shaped like a spaceship and bent her head to see into its depths. It was a beacon from another dimension. Her tears fell upon the surface causing ripples to bloom like a Dahlia flower unfolding. It’s slow spread as if a glacier. Her reflection started to climb toward the light.
 
A woman with hair like wildfire walked a moonlit alleyway stitching together a constellation of puddles that would be gone by morning. She came upon one shaped like a spaceship and bent her head to see into its depths. It was a beacon from another dimension. Her tears fell upon the surface causing ripples to bloom like a Dahlia flower unfolding. It’s slow spread as if a glacier.
 
A woman with hair like wildfire walked a moonlit alleyway stitching together a constellation of puddles that would be gone by morning. She came upon one shaped like a spaceship and bent her head to see into its depths. It was a beacon from another dimension. Her tears fell upon the surface causing ripples to bloom like a Dahlia flower unfolding.
 
A woman with hair like wildfire walked a moonlit alleyway stitching together a constellation of puddles that would be gone by morning. She came upon one shaped like a spaceship and bent her head to see into its depths. It was a beacon from another dimension.
 
A woman with hair like wildfire walked a moonlit alleyway stitching together a constellation of puddles that would be gone by morning. She came upon one shaped like a spaceship and bent her head to see into its depths.
 
A woman with hair like wildfire walked a moonlit alleyway stitching together a constellation of puddles that would be gone by morning.
 


Strolling Slowly Towards the Sun
Sugar Loaf, "Green-Eyed Lady"
(with an anecdote by Enrique Enriquez)

A woman with green eyes ate fish tacos outside of a West Hollywood strip mall. It was the Summer Solstice. She had been reading a book of letters sent to the Mount Wilson Observatory between 1920 and 1935. That was the time when the Observatory was home to the largest telescope in the world. Some of the letters detailed encounters with extraterrestrials. Others claimed that the Sun is not hot but cold, or that gravity does not actually exist. They said that these are lies scientists tell the public when they do not know how to explain a complex phenomenon like angels. The woman with green eyes pointed her face toward the warm glow of the slowly setting sun. A silver needle stitched the sky over LAX. She spent the rest of the afternoon watching contrails disappear.



All the Lonely People
The Beatles, “Eleanor Rigby”
 
A woman in a Beatles shirt flew over Southern California in a Boeing 737. Next to her slept a man in a wrinkled suit. Across the aisle, a girl flipped through a deck of tarot cards. And beside her a figure in black stared out of the window. The inside of the airplane was almost silent. The woman in the Beatles shirt closed her eyes and imagined that all of the passengers had come to hear her sing. She hummed aloud a song that matched her mood. Everyone on the airplane could hear it, and no one asked her to stop. 
 
When the woman in the Beatles shirt opened her eyes, she looked out of the window at the long, silver wing pointing toward the bent horizon. Below, there was nothing left but the mountain tops. As the airplane flew closer to the Sun, its light reflected off the metallic surface like slithering flames. She worried that the wings might melt. Of course, there was nothing to fear. The angels had reminded her that it was cold up there among the contrails.





Matthew Schultz teaches creative writing at Vassar College. He is the author of two novels: On Coventry and We, The Wanted. His recent work appears in Versification, Punk Noir, and Outcast Press. His full length collection of prose poems is forthcoming from ELJ Editions in May 2022.
 

Comments

  1. Matthew, these are wonderful and so very creative! Thank you for these amazing reads! These pieces are truly inspired!

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