In one picture I’m smiling at something outside the frame, in the other I’m outside the frame myself & it’s merely an indistinct office building ringed by a tarmac parking lot & above, a faint purpling of mountains. The wrought iron gate was always open so I closed the front door tight. I walked headfirst into every pillar in every stripmall. Mighty children with adult intents passed by me & I could see them from the ground up, their heads disappearing into a blur of far-frame focus. When I kissed anyone on the mouth I ended up trapped inside them, like the steam to the steam engine. I learned nothing about love except that the descent is more difficult than the climb.
I’ve Climbed a Few Mountains
I’ve climbed a few mountains in my day & each time I reach the top I get a feeling like someone just said my name in a crowded room & I’m looking around, trying to figure out who, if anyone, is calling to me. All day long I elope & I elope but I never get anything done. It’s only after night that one can sink into the pliable leather like a singe. It’s only by moonlight that a mountain can breathe without jurisdiction.
-- Mathias Svalina is the author of one book of poems, Destruction Myth (Cleveland State University Poetry Center), one forthcoming book of prose, I Am A Very Productive Entrepreneur (Mudluscious Press) & numerous chapbooks. With Zachary Schomburg he co-edits Octopus Magazine & Octopus Books.