< >

Matthew Sherling



tell the truth
but tell it with a mask on
so the audience can pay attention to the truth
rather than to you.

tell the truth
but tell it by saying what it is not
rather than what it is.

negation is sexy.

tell the truth
but admit that it can't be separated
from the observer.

tell the truth
but admit that true things are self-evident
& shouldn't have to be stated -
for example, 'this poem sucks'.

language was created so people could lie.

& the more i learn
the more i realize
how little i know,

like how i get angry
when people drive slow
but anxious when they ride my bumper.

civilization as performance art.

everything around you is wiser than you,
& once you realize that
you're wiser than you were before.

funny isn't it,

that metaphor made matter to make more metaphor,

the way eggs made chickens to make more eggs.



Matthew Sherling wrote the book of poems Bring Me My Absolute Surrender (Plain Wrap, 2014). More than from any class he took, he has learned from the internet, where he runs the blog CUTTY SPOT & the magazine Gesture. He hasn't slept since 2004.