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by Colleen Coyne

Take photographs

of my corpse at the grave: lonely.

The sole flash and clicking shutter.
The ground mutters.

Take what remains. Rename it.

Fertilize the clutter of alphabet, so we know
at least one thing grows on stones.

We love what shrouds we wear, flesh tones.

When the body erupts, it floods
the underground river—


Colleen Coyne is the author of the chapbook Girls Mistaken for Ghosts (dancing girl press), and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in DIAGRAM, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Crab Orchard Review, Cream City Review, Handsome, alice blue, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Drunken Boat, and elsewhere. She lives in Massachusetts, where she teaches writing and works as a freelance writer and editor, and is a member of the Caldera Poetry Collective.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Take Photographs”?

This poem takes its title and first line from a line in “Death Poem” by Jumah al Dossari, in Poems from Guantánamo: The Detainees Speak (ed. Mark Falkoff). Over the course of several drafts, I tried out different pronouns/points of view; in this final version, the first-person plural, I hope, links the personal concerns of my poem and the political concerns of “Death Poem.”

News

Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

Matter Press is now offering private flash fiction workshops and critiques of flash fiction collections here.

Submissions

Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now CLOSED. The next reading period for standard submissions opens March 15, 2021. Topical Thursdays’ submissions are open year-round. Submit here.

Upcoming

12/31 • Sean Cho A.
01/04 • Linda McMullen
01/07 • Victoria Jean Ella
01/11 • Daniel Murphy
01/14 • Kendra Dobson
01/21 • James Harris
01/25 • Richard Kostelanetz
01/28 • Andrew Love
02/01 • Kristin Burcham