Byron Matthews left Iowa for graduate school in North Carolina, later gave up a tenured faculty position in Maryland to make furniture for ten years in Santa Fe. He lives now in the mountains east of Albuquerque with his wife, a cellist.
Losing the Point
Rummaging words to paint the gaudy bird
perched on our gate and failing,
I brought you down to find it fluttered off.
My finger, aimless, hovered pointlessly.
Euclid dabbed a dot, called it like a point,
then with line, plane, all the rest, he specified
transcendent space, theoretic perfect place
Where every term means exact,
ancient dream of full depiction: No
semblance dies of failed description.
But words murk in humid air, float
the haze like hyacinths, unmoored,
effloresce in fragrant blooms
of decadent recursion.
Can perfumed air exhaust the bull
hoof to horn? Speak the insect tip to tip?
Who frames the roiling tapestry
in a land of withered fingers?