Matthew Gagnon: A Spout of Light and Still Life

Matthew Gagnon stares down a timberwolf

This week, THERMOS is happy to present new work from Matthew Gagnon. Gagnon works as an adjunct lecturer and takes daily walks along Mill River and around Factory Hollow. His reviews and essays can be found in Jacket, The Literary Review, and The Poker, among others. Some of his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Letters & Commentary, Colorado Review, The Nation, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, and WebConjunctions. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with his wife.






A Spout of Light

Everything’s watchful. A full reproach is what we think of paradise, how it’s almost a signature you can’t discern. What lives are rigged by intent, shepherded by an underworld straining for a spout of light, a solid ground of razed terra. If I could read your face in a prairie, pull back its quivering blades of rye, you would disappear as soon as the stitching becomes unbearable. Looking downward on a minor incline, your footing tests the stability of repetition.







Still Life



What wish is best forgotten? Symbol to thimble, blood speck to resurrect, this still life is extraterritorial; it’s where authority is a gesture held against a gesture. A call can bring you flooding back toward a window. Does its light erase any semblance of order? We are called up from zero, from bone, from wind. Naked and still, a piece of fruit is a sacrifice or it is simply beautiful and can be discarded. In the culmination of a starry vault and your head resting on a plinth, be assured of the expanse slowly shading over.

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