Three Poems

By Matt Nagin

Get In The Bunker

Get in the bunker—
hide, friend, from the sun;
don’t let them tell you
it’s necessary to see it all—
to climb every last dopey mountain
or fight all your lions in
a single cage match.

The bunker has rations,
music still flies
beneath the turbulent skies—
responsibilities evaporate—
lack of space is like
jet fuel for the imagination.

Get in the bunker,
take cover; bombs
are incoming—decades
of onslaught—only the
truly disciplined, the warriors
of self-regulation will make it.

Get in the bunker. Hunker
down. Feel your bones
chatter. When the hell is over
you will surface first.

The Day I Got Dumped

The day I got dumped
was a happy one—
a day for random bursts
of sun showers—
a day
where I could
literally kill the moon—
(the dead bodies piled
to the sky
and me standing there
immune
as if none of it
could reach me).

The day
I got dumped
I was sick—
coughing
my chest
ready to explode—
couldn’t sleep on my back
since that made the breathing worse—
fell into a rabbit hole—
turned into a magician that
rediscovered who I really was.

All this loneliness—
the many empty rooms—
a thousand closets abandoned—
a million nights going dark—
all this is for each of us—
all this is like a magic carpet ride
back to our own true self.

The day I got dumped
I found myself
remembered what was important—
rid myself of so much excess baggage—
looked through the skylight once more
at almost pure potential—
and found the key
beneath the bed
that allowed me entry
into a whole new paradigm,
a kaleidoscopic tower,
a fiery castle
of long buried potential.

Wear Your Mask

Wear your mask, friend—
put the cloth over those
infected lips—
keep your distance—
six feet—
and do not
pretend
even for a second
that you know me.

Wear your mask, lover—
look away—
do not act
like there is any hope
for us—
or suggest
with a stray glance
that desire matters
as in the past.

Wear your mask, father—
the distance between us
shall remain—
pretend I am not
here—
tell me not those
words that once
might have helped—
walk—keep walking—
and don’t ever
look back.

I’m a writer, actor and comedian residing in New York City. I’ve been published in Grain Magazine, Points In Case, Oxford Magazine, The Binnacle, Antigonish Review, and The New York Post, among others. My first book of poetry “Butterflies Lost within the Crooked Moonlight” was released in 2017 and has obtained many strong reviews. My second poetry collection, “Feast of Sapphires” was published in 2019, and one poem “If We Are Doomed,” won the 2018 Spirit First Editor’s Choice Award.

I wrote these poems while suffering from Covid-19 in March. It was a crazy time. A longtime resident of New York City, I was experiencing a number of intense symptoms in the heart of the first U.S. epicenter, and, as such, felt very connected to all the suffering and hardship that was taking place on a global scale. 

I was so overwhelmed and had such breathing issues–eventually I was in the E.R. for a night–that I felt I had to respond, to turn to poetry, to find words to articulate what I was experiencing. Thank you for checking out my work, and, if you like these poems, I’ve collected a book of them, my third collection, “Notes From The Bonfire.”

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