Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby


Clay Matthews has published poetry in journals such as The American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. His most recent book, Pretty, Rooster), is a collection of sonnets written in syllabics. His other books are Superfecta (Ghost Road Press, 2008) and RUNOFF (BlazeVox, 2009). He teaches at Tusculum College in Greeneville and edits poetry for the Tusculum Review.


Tuesday and all I can think is that I’d
like a shot of tequila. A small bird
dips its head in the gutter, opens wide
its wings, and I lie down and afterward
hold a pillow. Kids just down the street play
ball in the afternoons, and some late nights
I sit in the driveway and take up gray
gravel, throw it into the air, swing right
through whatever bothers me into what
feels solid in sending a rock out deep
into a field. Maybe I just can’t shut
out the darkness. Maybe I shouldn’t keep
dreaming so hard. I am too old to want
so much. I’m too young to believe I can’t.