Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

god is lost.


Rumi sets God and me up on a blind date and we meet in his field, hidden away from the haram police. He has long hair and guitar-calloused hands and the oldest eyes you’ve ever seen. Around us, the world burns; I laugh and tell him we need to stop meeting like this. He tells me how the mullahs won’t let him into his own homes, the mosques built in […]

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The Opposite of Nostalgia


the waiter at the mexican restaurant insists he gave me a ride yesterday but i wasn’t at the side of any road he looks again laughs apologizes i say they tell me i look a lot like other people but don’t ever see them i ask him where i was going and learn my car broke down as i was headed out of town i laugh i guess we’re both […]

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Punch List


By now having memorized the pebble-grained texture of the ceiling and having mowed the lawn last week and having paid off the mortgage last month and having put the youngest through college last year and having blinked farewell to the wife earlier in the evening, he noted the waning level in his IV bag. Excelsior!— the ultimate chore on a meticulous list.     R. A. Allen’s poetry has appeared […]

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It’s been a while since I’ve talked to the clown with the framed degree. I can feel the same tremors roar their way home again. The volcano smirks and I can’t keep it down anymore; it bubbles in my pulse with a red froth. Dad has taken the blue road again; I can see him walking with his hands in his pockets. Away. Where the daughters are sane and the wives […]

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While painting a house in New Orleans some twelve-thousand years ago, the owner came out and started talking to me— had me to sit down, take a break, drink some water. Offered me a cigarette—all nice and friendly in the easy southern heat. One thing led to another when, from nowhere, he revealed his daughter had died in the Jonestown Massacre and he was suddenly weeping, choking, sobbing over his […]

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Afraid that when Beauty arrived he would be too late to meet her, he ran faster than a house on fire past all the houses not on fire believing his house to be on fire until he arrived in flames, burning everything in sight.   After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans, Matt Dennison’s work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine and Redivider, among others. He […]

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The Hall of Two Truths


Hollow height entombs the space—causing withdrawal. Ceilings ping-pong the babel of TV from distant walls, stirring the phonetic mash of languages—coming—and going. Rooms—as large as football fields— Lilliputian the milling crowd lost and lonely. sterile gray tones wrap around the folks arriving departing travelers rush fleet-footed through turnstiles cogs spinning within full aisles Wheels within wheels—of mind—of conveyer belts—of scrolling flight times—of luggage carts—of taxis. Though their destinations are unknown: […]

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The sun is setting behind the mountains and pours its golden light everywhere. Whole Indonesia unfolds before my eyes. Rice fields, forests and rivers, banana trees, houses, mud ponds. Wide rivers and narrow ones, waterfalls, huge plains, roads carved into mountains, children riding bicycles, bamboo trees, late farmers coming back from work, two men sitting next to their bikes watching the sunset, group of youngsters cheering when the train is […]

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“The Darkroom of the Body”


– Lea Deschenes   Whatever’s developing is likely to remain sealed below   the skin’s great projection screen until it’s finally done   marinating in chemicals that will either decipher it   as the amazing answer to a litany of unasked questions   or expose it as yet another reminder   of that time I jackknifed the tractor while backing-up a load of hay   and sliced the tubeless tire […]

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Constellations for Dogs


Charlie stares at the faraway lights, winking back out of the dark sky with stories to tell: the long leash   leftover from the First Walk, the leg laying languidly on the horizon like an invitation, the Frisbee   spinning away toward dawn and beyond the reach of even the great outstretched jaws   of the Creator. The crescent moon fills the food bowl, lighting the way for both the […]

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