Matthew Porubsky Poems

barefoot cemetery blues

i sit in front of and to the side of

the stones with their icy shine

in the fading echoes of the sun

twilighting over the trembling trees

tracing shadows like the dry dirt

cracking away from the marble

reflections of remembrance.

the silk flowers rip

and the dry flowers rot

as the west nile wind

winds around headstones

and i scratch imaginary itches.

insects sound under a purpled sky

as a shadowed spider

swings and spins its web,

working to wait.

i see their faces in absent stares

with shut eyes and sinking skin,


the wind whips a red balloon

in random rages on a redder

ribbon that is pulled down

and snaps up and is pulled down

and snaps away from the


decorations of music boxes

and blown out candles,

baby shoes, virgins, flags,

weathered pictures and weeping wreaths

that once asked attention

for those who needed none,

fade in the light and in the night.

i hear silent nursery rhymes

sneaking from lidded cribs

in lonely laments and requiems,

roared and whispered,

riddled with remnants of withered roots.

i hear them singing showtunes,

humming while they put on lipstick,

and praying as they clean their fingernails.

i close my eyes for stoneless sight

and feel them all in the grass between my toes.

(subtle construction)

you don’t bother to explain your techniques.

the unconscious system of translating

yourself to skin and bone, oscillating

mid-body, develops daily. instincts

lead you to weave liquid to fingerprints,

folding and patterned, to a design

never imagined or matched. you refine

cells to eyelids and toenails of mint

condition, small silk spins of protection,

and filter sounds to somber echoes for

sculpted ears, fashioned in the style of your

own. you’re an artist of flesh, perfection

built from emotion and blood that you meld

within as weight – your hidden canvas held.