junkmail oracle

featured poets & artists


matthew estvanic

matthew estvanic is a teacher from yellow springs, oh. his work has previously appeared on deep cleveland junkmail oracle, and his chapbook, "salt of the earth," was published on deep cleveland press.


Ohio sonnet

Ohio bebe doll so flat & Celtic green

flinching toddler-light at each flash

of electricity on leafy young skin

as I count the thunder seconds

& try to keep my ribs closed-up.

The heart will escape if you let it,

onto steel scales at weigh stations

jammed with truckers in pocket-tees,

thru the exits the manicured woods

clasping ghosts of Indian wraiths

& smuggling the forest floor animus.

71 your sash & I your pageant beau

        fat fingers slid over your radiant gown

       prurient thrill for your skin & my bones.


In The Light

I. The Lights

Newness is to be savored.

Under traffic lights, aware gazes,

the maize fortune of paper lamps,

moons with divots, the womb of

smiles & balsam-tinged lotioned hands

illuminated in reveal-the-teeth spectre,

orange dusk retreating over the mounded

Rubber City,

                                    cardiac drums painted

scratched-grey as they grind the future

into the chest thru the spirits down the

misanthropic & throbbing lower torso

& push it down to lacquered parquet

to live, die, come back after the longest

weekend, spread itself thirteen times

through flooded valleys amuck with straw



focused on a face, a dreadlock

that torques as a fully realized woman

owns the truth like a newborn

christened in blood.

II. Saeta


       by talking over the facts of dead-end jobs

       or chatting up the ethics of a world leader

       photographed in his underpants for a public

       eating her own like pagans gone resourceful

       once their last sheep moans into aimless silence.


       putting three U.S. dollars scented

       with the essential sweat of a sincere mother

       calling strangers to keep the house worm

       onto a hipster counter to respect the venue.


       adorning our bodies (that summersault heavily

       towards middle age & the sterility of good-enough)

       in the best pricey-looking cheap rags purchased

       still beyond our red-blooded means, just to trim

       our asymmetrical statue - or to be base about it

       we try and look "cute"; and we are, we're beautiful.


       offering honest stimulus to the human

       coral reef standing before us, lit

       by ceaseless blue waters of disclosure

       which rock and sway under torrential skies.

III. The Graffiti Auteurs

Oh Akron! Oh Cleveland! We call. We call...

... poems in the place of our staple breads

drowning in the wine of consequence.

We are scratching out recent epic history

on the exposed cornerstone of an immense ruin,

our hands blood-blistered from the chisel,

the transaction of our fingers' desperate pressure

& the unnerving posterity of the stonework.

We are bathing in scant light, our nakedness

a beautiful, lascivious entanglement best vantaged

by watching us all gather outside a nightspot

& prim & flirt & exchange cellular phone numbers

under some phony but externally harmless guise.

We dance in light as we jester, nude

& beading with self-mustered sweat.

We are one set of painted lips

on a chalice cast in perfect imitation

of the cupped hands of a child ---

thirsty for wine, and water

called to decree the difference

between them.


Ohio - 5/15/05

The world de- & re-evolves

so obliquely

                               From geometric

suburbs rife with traffic jams

& mothers chewing prescriptions

Into gentle hills & roadside

stands - auto-repair garages

at the hips of houses where

a rusty school bus holds court

in the patchy yard

And ending at tract housing

glued and finger-woven

atop soybean fields &

behind a massive, garish

retail store where nothing

stood before.


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