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Four Poems
Matthew Gagnon


The Tabernacle

But it is nothing
that stands against the welter of impact

dog-eared with dusk    a projection
of dusk

its lack of light reported on tile
finds a foundation

its violence
perfectly contained
closes there

in the body
pierced by coherence—

its archways and aqueducts    sunken charts
and basins of overflowing light

that shelters nobody
no body
as sown to its den








A Subject Trace

He awaits the breaking
news of the nuclei    flaking outward

absorbed onto a surface
of inducement

He is at once a subject    whipsawed
with a greater efficiency

From his commission
recanted in microtone

the moist earth is unafraid
of brutality

arid static    channels of devotion








Memoria Technica

Between the body’s
capital and its harbor,

a stratagem of circuits are in gradual exposure.

There’s no power
to persuasion, nothing

disrobes or welcomes

your combine parceled to the cinder,
nothing severs

or liquidates
its application.

Provide a feeding tube.

All the toothless blades
are enough.

Gash me, here.

An unstitched hem is astray.








Detonation Point

Say this isn’t why
we detonate.

We molt out of a habit,
its ideas that wash us
blank, back into a variable.

I brace for the dust
cloud, an ocean
that goes uninjured,

an ocean I stand beside,
shoreless, an ocean that cannot
say ‘aglow’ behind my eyes.




Matthew Gagnon’s reviews and essays can be found in Jacket, The Literary Review, and The Poker, among others. Poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, and The Nation. He currently lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with his wife.