Archive for the ‘Poetry by Matt Rouge’ Category






Don’t lay a flower on this poet’s grave
or look within these words to know my face:
to who is gone, such kindness is a sieve
that cannot leave your hands the finer trace.


Don’t meditate upon this day alone
with remnants gathered from the Internet,
pretending you had cheered the way, or shown,
before it led to grass beneath your feet.


Closer to you is one who needs your care
far more than any revenant of verse,
who lacks your touch and thus the strength to bear
the mighty length of art in life so terse.


With tears like mine, be certain he shall wait
for love like yours, not fame beyond the gate.

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"SANKHARA-DUKKHA"–a poem by Matt Rouge





Among the things you know about my soul
is that I’d always sought its qualities,
and when at last I won, our ecstasies
were only matched in depth by losing all.


Searching again, I gained each part in full,
but not within one entity to choose:
one had our tones, another one our hues,
and one the scents that breach the trembling wall.


The patience that you share has earned its mate,
and everything we are has well combined
with love, the thing for which I couldn’t wait.


Yet, through this very process, I have found
not you, not me, not us, but only thought
partitioned by the fragrance, light, and sound.

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BS and meta-BS

I’ve written more about a particular relationship on this blog than about anything else. It’s the relationship about which I wrote the poem “DRY” and numerous posts.

The interaction has finally ended, as it should have more than a year ago, with a lack of ending: there is no bold statement or move to make; there is only the acceptance of what was and wasn’t, what continues to be not, and what will never be–acceptance that came with my recent “Acceptance Revolution,” about which I plan to write soon on this blog. Stay tuned.

My message today is a small one dealing with a lesson I learned from this relationship: don’t tolerate BS, and be wary of meta-BS.

BS refers simply to the modes by which one permits oneself to be mistreated in a realtionship. It’s just a truism that, in general, we human beings are willing to put up with quite a bit when we love and care about someone. It’s an understatement to say that I loved this person a lot, and thus I put up with a lot over a long period of time. I had a romance with her that failed. I tried to rekindle the romance, and that effort also ended in heartbreak. I tried to be “just friends” with her several times, putting a lot of time and effort into even that diminished relationship, but ended up her spiritual whipping boy each time.

Meta-BS refers to a person’s “going meta” on his or her BS, apologizing for it, explicating reasons for it (i.e., making excuses), and promising and perhaps even demonstrating efforts to reform it. Meta-BS differs from genuine apologies, reasons, and reform in that the person, either consciously or unconsciously, lacks the intention or the ability to do right by the target of the BS.

Meta-BS can keep you on the hook a long time. Think about the addict who cleans up and falls off the wagon in a never-ending cycle, while his or her family members in turn celebrate the reforms and suffer through the rock-bottoms. So it was in this unhealthy relationship, in which the person in question continually served up the BS and then apologized for it. Meanwhile, I was myself like an addict, unable to kick the habit as the aforementioned poem describes.

My Acceptance Revolution provided me the means of final (I believe) extrication. Contrary to past practice, in which I would try to push away the pain the relationship had caused me and the feelings for her that lingered, I simply accepted all of my internal content, committing myself only to the management of what I am able to manage: my words and actions.

The remarkable thing is that the pain and the feelings immediately subsided to the point where now I am truly beginning to forget her. Or, to paraphrase the country tune, “More and more I think about her less and less.”

Now that I have (I feel) extricated myself from one of the most painful situations of my life, I have little doubt that she will contact me again, show me her baby pictures, and try to do the little things that, in the past, pushed my buttons and roped me in. Come what may; that’s just how these things work. There is little more for me to say to her than, “Congratulations. Blessings.” I will continue to accept my internal content while managing my words and actions as well as I am able.

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"DRY"–a poem by Matt Rouge



A habit broken months ago today,
when all the little bubblings of the earth
retreated from my judgment of their worth,
in taunting glee has come again to stay.

Without a meeting to restrain the flow,
a bottle to unpurchase for the dearth,
I kept my hands cupped for the pouring forth,
always a draft just several clicks away.

Not all I knew of spirit and its ways
revered that source or blessed my hitting send,
and now that nothing serves to drown my gaze,
I thank and curse the method of the end:
a well still coaxing thirstiest desires
yet dry as anything in summer’s trend.

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"PHYTALMIOS"–a poem by Matt Rouge





In the past, I can feel his progeny,
pullers of transport and the plow
through and across his captured moisture,
but the black buggies and sun-white pickets
train them minorly. His bounty is the same,
I see, the maize and soy mirror the expanse
he rules best beyond the coast, deep with octopi,
as if these waves could cover anything he knows:


pearl on stalk and drop on leaf, from rain
and things like rain, lulling me awake
at five thirty in the shudder of his rule:
even here that structure, mantle and molecule,
even here within me, tightened by him,
straightened, for strength in trial and tide.

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