MoonPie Montage

Windows down and the slide-show
of confederate flag, cornrows, a scarecrow

holding a machete. Would you call this home?
The ugly side of classic rock,

this elegy for mufflers and empathy;
all afternoon the neighbors scream at each other

over the lawnmower while somehow,
in her car seat, their baby sleeps.

The litter: plastic bottles half-filled
with dip spit, the pinched butts of cigarettes

smoked with a violent desperation
outside the discount grocers

and on the sidewalk under the shade
of a giant Maple. Call this a stereotype

or call it true, white trash
or helpless or hurt or hate. And how?

There’s a bit of everyone’s story here
in the canned meat and bleached flour, the dogs

leashed to bumpers and fascia
rotting away. Cats slide through a crawl space,

a child screams, a random firework goes off
in the distance. The miracle is in the miss

of the drum barrel bursting with garbage out back,
rusted and useless, dying to burn.

MoonPie Montage by Clay Matthews

Photo by David Olimpio.

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About Author


Clay Matthews has published poetry in journals such as The American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. His most recent book, Shore, was recently released from Cooper Dillon Books. His other books are Superfecta (Ghost Road Press), RUNOFF (BlazeVox), and Pretty, Rooster (Cooper Dillon). He teaches at Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN, and edits poetry for the Tusculum Review.

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