Mathew Martin




 we are born to taste it

on the tongue and in the heart


 its buds are there

with every bite into





 or the grapefruit I spoon up

with my coffee

at the break of every day



The Earl of Rochester’s Deathbed Confession


 outside his room the July day held its nose;

I did not, having over the centuries acquired

a taste for ripe flesh as well as ripe souls.

from under his bed sheets the bouquet leaked

of soured body fluids: his every pore a

rupturing asshole in a filthy jakes.

behold the end of the atheist and libertine!

and how he confessed his sins!  he gave

a performance worthy of the public scaffold.

with rheumy lungs and bad breath he bawled

how he fucked Chloe and Phyllis and that bitch Willis,

every cunt, every asshole, every ejaculation.

what magnificence, to debauch God with such a

blow job, a second hard-on and a second coming.

but Pascal was right about prayer, and God

who sees and judges all—the genocide, the rape,

the oppression of the poor and sanctimony of the rich—

didn’t waste time on this petty gamester

and on his last groan sent him straight to

heaven.  I saw the horror on his face as he ascended,

and I wept.



the illusionist sky rolls back its fading blue cape

again, and again the tempting silver coins appear

pendant from nothing’s black fabric on strings thinner than air.

I’ve seen this show before, with hands in empty pockets, but

tonight a firefly, indifferent to astral influence,

the speed of light and all the laws

of air traffic control, staggered over the fence,

eclipsed the North Star, then lost itself

in the black canopy of a neighbouring tree.




t p u

Mathew Martin

Readers this month

Sentinel Poetry (Online) #45August 2006   ISSN 1479-425X


Editor: Amatoritsero Ede

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