Getting The Birds Wrong
Leaving, the city sustains itself
on little more than it has, the cars
speeding up for nowhere, crumpled
edge of pedestrians running out late.
I forget where I’ve put my luggage
and what belongings I was meant
to carry, and what, by the way,
if it’s true I could be getting more
out of this life? At home and young
in my private sliver of the green skirt
of the Mid-Atlantic, I tried pointing out
which bird. And I’d always get it wrong.
No one here to correct me now.
Less things flying, and mostly away.
We try but then we do not try enough.
Matthew Gellman reads “Getting The Birds Wrong”
Matthew Gellman’s chapbook, Night Logic, was selected by Denise Duhamel as the winner of Tupelo Press’ 2021 Snowbound Chapbook Award and is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. His poems are featured in Poetry Northwest, Narrative, Indiana Review, The Common, Ninth Letter, The Missouri Review, Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight, Poet Lore and elsewhere. A recipient of a Brooklyn Poets fellowship and an Academy of American Poets prize, Matthew was also awarded The Adroit Journal’s Djanikian Scholarship in 2020, and his manuscript, “Beforelight,” was a finalist for Tupelo Press’ 2019 Berkshire Prize, for Four Way Books’ 2020 and 2021 Levis Prize, and for the 2020 Hollis Summers Poetry Prize. Matthew currently lives in New York and teaches at Hunter College, the School of Visual Arts and the Fashion Institute of Technology.