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The Pines at Son Beltran, 1955
30 second excerpt from a 2:21 reading


The Sad Birds, 1972
30 second excerpt from a 4:13 reading


Condo Auction, 1988
30 second excerpt from a 15:35 reading


Romantic Poem, 2005
30 second excerpt from a 1:10 reading

Harry Mathews




          for L. S.

In the dead of night
In the dead of the past
The landscape of mathematical bats
With inviting slate-lined troughs sunk in gravel
Can you think of me
Can you think of us
Armorially intricated like a bunch of bananas
In wastelands of utopian desire
Can you think
How can real things if lovable be so uncomfortable
Sloth, nevermindness, sweetish pus
Excuses worse than astrological babble
Tomorrow was another day
With vicious sunlight
Not even room enough to moralize
Just get down and stay down
I can’t remember but then you
Are not to be forgotten
Putting myself out of your reach
Backing towards immobility
So sluggishly attained
Then as now



In longing, the underage seaman veered from the drift,
Elsewhere, out of the wind, scuppered his stone desire.
Unluck cleaving to him made him no schadenfreuder—
What was plus or minus? He loved the least cat.

Starbursts should light up this moment, the child
Be jealous of nighttime and its laughing yellow listener!
The red doe of the prince of studies sunders,
Shedding her likeness. Her undimmed luster fits him.



Singing has shed its sound,
Soundless song articulates itself
In mauve fevers
That sting the unopened nose.

Halal lamb is distributed
Like goose on Christmas afternoon.
You likewise will be cut into pieces of deliberation:
Relics sufficient for passionate sleepiness.

HARRY MATHEWS is the author of six novels and several collections of poetry, his most recent books being Sainte Catherine, a novella written in French (Éditions P.O.L, 2000), The Human Country: the Collected Short Stories (Dalkey Archive Press, 2002), The Case of the Persevering Maltese: Collected Essays (Dalkey Archive Press, 2003), Oulipo Compendium (co-edited with Alastair Brotchie; Atlas Press and Make Now Press, 2005) and My Life in CIA: A Chronicle of 1973 (Dalkey Archive Press, 2005).

For the complete article and a CD of 15 poems read by Harry Mathews purchase The Sienese Shredder #1

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