Three Poems by Matt Coonan


It’s 430.
The door knob twists.
She walks in, blank face;
keeps the sunglasses on.
I debate which greeting to use:
“How was work?”
No response.
She unpacks slowly,
grabs the corkscrew.
On these days, I am the cork;
the first line of defense.
Retreat to the couch.
Listen, how wine floods the glass.
I wonder if it’ll shatter
and stain the kitchen red.
She summons me.
A dirty plate in the sink
a poor excuse for a son.
She walks through me
to the porch.
Flicks herself into an ashtray,
pets the dog.
At least it can still smile.
At least it can’t speak.
On these days, every word is a trigger.
Silence is a time bomb.
Dad walks in and doesn’t know which wire to cut.
He always picks the wrong one.
How do you run from an explosion
once you’ve learned to call it home?

She hits him,
and hits him,
and hits him.
And the glass shatters,
stains the kitchen red.
And the cop
who knows my home too well
can’t tell
if it’s wine
or blood
or both.


Bars of the Broken

i fed a
caribou Theraflu.

                                                                                      careful, you
                                                                                      might be so high you
jump in the air, no parachute.

                                                                                      where you land, they will
                                                                                      bury you.

in the land where the cherries grew,
chop em’ down, build casinos.

                                                                                      i pull the lever and pray for a pair of cherries
                                                                                      in trio.

i’m parallel to torpedoes.
the P.O. has low libido.

                                                                                    he’s trigger happy to see you,
                                                                                    don’t take a crack at his ego.

he’s eager to crack the egg on a
Desert Eagle.

                                                                                    the people are running, no pun intended.
                                                                                    the gun’s embedded in me.

i can’t
sleep in my bed, keep on counting
beheaded sheep.

                                                                                      oh my,
                                                                                      son of a shepherd
                                                                                      rerouting to seven seas.
i be
king of the mountain
now kicking the boulder down
and it grounded you like an
inner child,
go and
                                                                                      set it free.



and so,
the wind
tucks another boy
to rest,

and we wait
until dusk gives us
something to cry about.

another street
puddled in rainbows;
the storm
leaves us
tip-toeing to
pots of gold
we still believe exist.

but the path is
consistently dim;
never to illuminate
or flood pitch-black.
it is constant
and bothersome.

so we trek
until the earth
grates our limbs
to dust,

and float
with the particles of
yesterday’s optimism.



Matt Coonan is a spoken word poet, lyricist, and educator from Long Island, New York.  He studied Childhood Education (1-6) at SUNY Oneonta, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing. During his undergrad career, Matt was a member of the Oneonta Poetry Slam Team for three consecutive years. He’s competed in the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI) and has two pieces featured on Button Poetry’s YouTube channel.  His poem “Hangover Thoughts” has over 100,000 views. If he’s not writing, you can find Matt starting a Netflix series with his girlfriend or dipping various foods in blue cheese dressing. 85% of the time, these events occur simultaneously.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s