Mathias Svalina is the the author of five books, including Destruction Myth (Cleveland State University Poetry Center), Wastoid (Big Lucks Books), & the recently released The Wine-Dark Sea (Sidebrow Books). He is an editor for the small press Octopus Books. Since 2014, Svalina has run the Dream Delivery Service & ran a similar project for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver in 2015. In the fall of 2016 through the summer of 2017 he will be delivering dreams in other cities, including Richmond, Tucson, Marfa, Austin & Chicago.

2 poems by Mathias Svalina

from THANK YOU TERROR

 

 

 

~

 

Summer leaves me

nothing to disprove.

 

All the scabs

are gone

 

& left behind

is something born

 

a thousand times,

a slickness

 

of renovation,

of disaster.

 

I was reborn

so many times,

 

& so many times

I fucked it up.

 

I played my part.

 

But that’s not what’s interesting

what’s interesting

 

is something I can’t

find a way to say

 

without guessing

at what I was

 

in all the broken couches

of the day

 

without guessing

at what I am

 

without tracking

bad water back

 

from the ocean

to the shore

 

to the river

to the sink

 

without guessing

what’s before me

 

in the dark

slur.

 

of the world

we love,

 

a catalogue, an aspect

reflected onto

 

each body encased

in its preferred shackle

 

each body

a body of dust

 

held together

by its own careful gravity.

 

Insight, wisdom, clarity:

these things

 

mirrors hold

against us

 

in the drawn form

& pressure

 

of the body

in relation

 

to the body’s

loss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~

 

A ritual grief

a journey on

the borders

of loss.

 

Shackles custom-fitted

to the shape of our desires

so they look like our desires

so you can’t tell

where the shackles end

& the garden begins.