Written during a time in my life when I was experiencing a number of life changing events, these poems express a fragile yet scientific outlook on survival and existence. In 2006 I was going through Chemotherapy for cancer, finishing a PhD in Applied Physics, and had a newborn daughter. Poetry became not just an outlook for my otherwise very literal work as a scientist, but an important part of my identity. 15 of these poems have been reviewed, or published in journals. This is the first time they appear together, as a recorded history, of the artistic journey of discovering some of life's biggest challenges.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.13(d)|
Read an Excerpt
By MATTHEW PUTMAN
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Matthew Putman
All right reserved.
Ok to tell the truth I didn't want to write in A minor
As Alicia knows with no black keys
I can close my eyes.
A temporary adjustment to the system
Failed for long cycles
Of Mendelssohn and molestations
In a tinder box of nitrogen, and water.
Tomorrow I will row from the Seine to Staten Island
Where on minimal blue dusk nights
I can doze off without the sound
Of pumping factories of minerals like mollusks.
As I approach the keyboard, I invert the sound
Reaching over entrails of ivory
Towards the dark major
Where an E flattens to infinity.
On a distant planet where the Rockies crumble onto the plains
They talk of Orion and grizzlies taken by dead presidents
And pardonable lies, which are scooped up in the big dipper
Where a virgin cries in English, holding a daydream of things to come.
Onboard those of us salute
of what is locked unconsciously beneath.
A tiny morsel reflects quanta in the day or night.
Undermined is the lapsed view
of a mid age 30ish man.
A fantasy too small to see,
Too large to Comprehend.
A dead genius limping past my window.
Miles above the ground a planet I don't recognize.
Pittering drops wiped away.
Pattering footsteps I can't identify.
If night comes again
I won't reach up or bend down,
But grasp the nearest star
And run with her into my field.
I hear the starlings singing in German
and don't remember a word you
said to me last night in my dream.
A new dialect.
Some grin I recognize
having never seen.
I hear a chirp again in Russian,
How far you have traveled at
An altitude just above the
Or Seagram Tower.
Some mulled cocktail of
Gatorade, honey and tears.
Sweeter than ever that voice.
I want to sing and cry beside you
at the fallen wood,
beside the lodge.
Shape From Shading
A pattern can propagate in all continents, and at sea.
Checked in for too many days doodling in board rooms and BMWs
While another pianist zips through standards with the left hand while
Something that changes color in the sun.
These waves and dots disappear only at the edges where
Infinities begin to tear apart bodies in the black hole of being.
All Paris lights up with sustainability, in a now frostless climate
North of Maine.
Too opposed to putting my hat on the table I hold it in my lap.
Flipping it invisibly up and down and wishing it were weighted for such
I see the distance, where the pattern dissipates, there is only a child dancing
To a vacant sound, which pushes her on a lyrical sail boat journey.
How can I who cannot swim pull her back from the sea of paradise at the
rim of knowledge
To a table where food is served in courses and eaten with ancient utensils.
The rhythms of the tides. The sounds in a vacuum and a last perfect leap
will crash down,
As we grasp tightly the corners of our chairs, and get lost in the
Song of the Urban Thrush
Sounding a tad tormented for nothing.
Nowhere is a café it, but on a street with a French name.
Unfortunately trapped in Brooklyn, where wifi works better than the
Timeless is the desire to remain anonymous and seen.
Spiritually centered, but in control.
Maximum roller riding coaster crazed, on smoothly re-asphalted side
Punctuality for monotony keeps the stay short.
Walking past countless fronts of old brick structures where
martinis and Sam Adams are sold.
Wanting a tumbler of house red, finding only a short stem growing tasteless
Musically speaking, thirty years is too short and too long.
Mind floats above boroughs to Burroughs where a racing mind can rest
A binge of imagination.
Microscopic divisions bringing unity
In mornings of strange serenity.
Bitterness sweet, same of the cold
As a warmness flows.
A reassuring spa through veins, our soul?
Cerebral efficiency with little electrical loss.
Closer to sacrifice.
100 or so degrees shouts still not registering
Through cacophonous populous buzz.
Maybe a few chords,
A Whisper at 3 AM,
An arm around the waste
Sinusoidal silence of conditioning
Impossible to hear or see,
An unconscious ticking of desires,
Tunneling or hopping I reach
A train, a field,
A mirrored skyscraper.
A knock or a twitch
Reminds me of the never resting
State of being.
Wound tightly around the steering wheel,
I lean over and touch her hand.
Wound around my fingers
Loops I cannot find either beginning or end.
Wound up inside a cashmere scarf,
I cannot see her pensive fear.
Wound up in electric coils,
I gently warm as my blood boils.
Wound up gray matter
Doesn't divide, move or clatter.
Wound up strings and skin
Inside homes of carpet and tin.
Chapter TwoFROM THE BOTTOM UP
Directly into a pin prick of a hole a liquid.
Not as fast as light or even sound, I wonder when it will arrive.
To heat the heart and cool the misfiring of neural panic.
Still I don't find a light too common.
Colors are all that I want.
Going into the blues in the night become black, and burned out retinas
Tragic films at first loved, are feared upon second viewing.
A scene once provided a chuckle, now brings a chill.
A dropper like a hammer
Breaking down matter into molecules,
Molecules into atoms,
Atoms into an abyss.
Before it crashed
this party gathered dust
on stoves and mantles
stacked feet high
towards the elevated
crackling of the second floor parlor.
Pushing funny faced
Wall Street, Main Street Mavens
Sat unconcerned that the reds of
the Chagall were fading to pink
even in a grayed version
of that once white room.
Drank unknown lager,
And posing in Levi's fashion
Painters with mice
replace painters with oil
and drink Brooklyn beer of five dollars.
The dirt is underneath the Pansy print
In the Hilton hallway.
A must for a night mulling ideas.
With groans from fucking,
Scents of bourbon.
My thoughts equidistant from the moon.
A radius of an angstrom
Or light year.
Always on the tip of the tongue.
The bud droops.
A punch annihilates the
Of another night
Under a duvet in summer.
Time to Flash memory
Into mega pixels.
Time to Capitulate
Time to render obsolete
Photos of bearded men
Quilts of dead widows
Houses with fake shutters.
Time to sleep in for once.
A comfortable pair of slippers.
Time to break the fucking clock.
The flickering lamp.
The old vase.
Crossing himself by the chapel
he sipped an ale and panted
as he passed days
after Dartmouth lacrosse
matches long ended
and the last volunteer soldier fell
from pneumonia that comes in the 80's.
When last picked, once piled apples,
rot by wagons
of yellow, advertised taxis
with swipe cards and
piss stains reminder of
the park for 20 summers.
Heat hampers the block
but he shivers as the
light from Farrels
Cars make way for street cleaning.
A boxing car in my way on the road on May evenings.
Clashing sickles into a normal mood
Fresh, fantasy, frequency frantic.
Pulling harder, making no progress.
Reaching into a pit to find only dark air.
Some strange crack in this rock seems to penetrate.
A war it seems is only as far as the light coming through the wall.
Bombs though are cold, and quiet when muted to hear
Cars honking, dogs barking and my baby crying.
Too often mumbling to myself a personal victory is only one drop,
One pill, or one kiss away.
Waiting for the fire to start up seems like hours in the moments,
Thousands of ks per beat.
Syncopated and flickering the chaos is kept at arms length.
Away from the wall.
Pressing round noir midnight at midday
Hops of bubbling froth hop from
Point of longing to tastes lingering,
Imports without much conditioning from vents,
Air or otherwise.
What unreasonable directions from pulpits
Tarnished white crackled
On sets above bars of malts.
Sinking into uncomfortable relaxation.
Ponder dreary dreams, destroyed only.
Snippets of grease strained trust
On pages not fitting to print
To pour the warm finish
Over the tender crisp skin
Old Man Ebbits
It whistled like the pine needle and cone,
In mid spring, on some back corner, of my amygdale.
When I saw through my closed eyes an old
Church, which someone seemed new, with
The houses and children stinking and crackling
By the walks of neat life episodes.
In pale blues, not yet able to fade to grey
And knowing that a colorful rainbow of
Prosperity was yesterday's ball game
And today's racing form, lies marked and
Crumbled on the bathroom floor of Farrells.
The drugstore glasses scratched.
The watch face ruined, like nails and
Tails where serpents exist alongside rats
On subways where the road to a park was
Long since bulldozed.
Into a hole on Seventh, I penetrate too deep.
Illusions of a bottom that I can't make out.
Geometric in format.
Algebraic in symmetry with the far horizon of the sea somewhere.
An Allegory. A hypothesis, a lost sentence.
Musical in skies, but buried underneath the sticky stale asphalt.
Human animal kind, not nice.
Starvation in classes, of class not distinguishing.
Too many yellow lines painted to close to see from here.
Too many mysteries too far to solve.
I look again inside the hole and realize that it must never be filled.
Blame it on the pen,
Blame it on the dark cloud
Blame girls no girl.
A blank page
Too full to tear
Too empty to fill.
Blame my ear sight
Nerve endings in my toes.
Blame the keys
Blame a cursed fish stew
Blame the States Scotch
The Belgian beer
The French vodka
Blame the absence of Absinthe.
A Portrait Of Ronnie
Sidewalk sense, from prospect to fifth
He always walks with a Brooklyn cowboy stride.
Speaking of horses, he has rode from the Crown Heights corner to
To Grand Army plaza, and back to Pritchett square.
Where yuppies roller blade, and homeless men grunt good morning.
Where girls dark and light wave hello, and smile.
"The one over there polished my knob in 78, in the parking lot
Of a disco on 87th."
He drinks a vanilla coffee for 2 hours each morning.
He collects plastic, sanitized utensils.
He has pockets full of napkins.
He solves the Daily News puzzle like rain man calculates birthdays.
He wipes my little girl's face, and sings her Britney.
He plans to fish from the peer, and float all day on a boat.
He heads to the Off Track betting.
Gripping a funny cigarette between giant callused fingers.
Without speaking an r, his tongue slides through
A hole left empty where two stained teeth used to be.
He stops by an old, new brownstone
Greets the Jewish millionaire, and offers his services.
Painting, roofing, or any fucking thing you need.
A dollar, or two hundred will get him back to breakfast.
Out of the one room closet where
He tunes his antenna to watch alligators and the Mets.
Ten calls a day to Dulce, and Laura,
Family stuck an ocean of broken down subways, and potholed streets away
Looking toward the Brooklyn Bridge, a better day is coming.
To share a two bedroom home, and bring in Barbeque.
To wake up together, and both of our families sip
Vanilla Coffee for two hours.
The dense wood beams
Firmly sway and slowly burn
Keeping lives in tiny third floor flats
Where windows work better than pipes.
Cable brings the world of 2009.
Beside certain particular, particulier
Where status stood, in luxury
Where the shit from the street
Is hidden by clay,
And rose vases of mint.
The song of pigeons and stews stirs
The sort of pensive hours
Of waiting for sunlight to pass
Into a perfusion of sonic whispers.
Stones still harboring perversions of eternity
While all slowly erode
Into pieces of next year.
When the rumble stops
When motion accelerates
When time is short
When clothes don't protect,
Air strikes comfort.
When chromatics startle
When colorless tones confuse
Is there chatter of the stupid man
who vomits three times?
One the remaining wine.
Two the squats and curls.
Three the day long shaking of
life less meaningful than expected.
Unattached and Swaying,
I took a shot and
Waited for the
Storm after the calm.
Where a flip of a pancake
Or a comment
Lands somewhere between
The lips and the bowels.
Where plastic chairs
Melt rather than fade
Rather than tarnish
Under a shrinking star
In an expanding universe.
Where a child can only taste
An acid drop.
Not the clear snow
On a mountain of springs
Of scalding indifference.
Designer vodka by the gallon.
Gigabyte Strayhorn melodies
Shuffled and woven
Through southern suffering
And old world comfort.
Holding solitary untouching forms
In King Size fashion.
Rips in an aura and sewn together.
Pretension and power pills.
Taxis scented with mideastern spice.
Guarded by plastic,
Rear seat chatter and IPOD drone.
A patch of hair fallen
From poison and inertia.
Covered by cashmere and
The dream of growth.
I missed the chance to shower
and now feel a creep up my back
when clowns pass me.
I regret the moments of endless
Wanting more to dwell in a deep bunker.
Bombs dropping, but not bursting my gaze.
Downward onto a yellowed dust covered page.
Where words blend more than pop.
Expressions are muted.
Still not blind, hypersensitive
To shades of contempt from those above.
Shy cousins climbing trees
To look down at the
Mutation of our souls.
A Cramp in the right foot toes,
A truck passes.
An Owl moans.
A Cricket chirps
My Baby Laughs.
A Trip Trek ticking
A mile per second
As bio rhythms pattern
The sun gets edges that
The mountain loses.
Moon mysteries for
Her Young processes
Of a heart not slowed by cynicism.
On the First Day of Christmas
Of the shopping Christmas dad
Skeptics learn multitudes from pigeon songs
Cooing over the Trash bin, and forcing our eyes,
Towards ellipses of gold and red, which
Firing through the optical nerve and landing in the void
Where the esophagus and heart flutter together
In a cushion of snowflakes that life is real.
So with a scarf, cashmere, the orchestral triangular
Bellowing the ping under the coat, and hiding the pulse
Of a detracted science teacher, remembering his Grandmas
Experiment of love.
Resting alone on the stool, the chatter turned to clamor up
A bill that list a debt too large to compile, as summations fail
To infinity, instead existing in a theoretical haze.
To rise now, with high pulse, low anxiety, and arms raised
To the North Pole.
Excerpted from MAGNIFICENT CHAOS by MATTHEW PUTMAN Copyright © 2011 by Matthew Putman. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews