*When reading poetry on a mobile device, we recommend orienting your screen horizontally.



Poetry by Matt Duggan


The Glass Man  

A tired man made of glass wakes from his unmade bed
we see into his life through his transparent skin,
a witness to all the tears that he gathers and sheds.

We see every day what’s inside this glass man’s head
hourly notifications on his banal and meaningless life
the thoughts and desperation of a man wanting to be liked,

We watch the cracks in a glass man.
the wanderings to the clockworks of his mind
we watch and can almost write what the glass man is thinking,

What saturates the skin
from the blood that’s written in the sand?
a tired man made of glass turns to a world

where everyone has chipped away a piece of him
held the same mirror to their own lives,
believing that no one else would see his reflection.  


Watching Cobwebs on Skirting Boards One Friday Night

Down on the floor
another ten minutes to forget – punch marks in plaster
covered by Black and White pictures of infants
watching cobwebs on skirting boards one Friday night.

Notice what needs to be cleansed
using blusher to hide the wedding ring bruise
never remembering the kitchen battle marks
where hurt is hidden from pride reassembling a trembling beat in the heart.

Bites that tattooed the arm hair like lipstick traces
bubbling under hard skin –
when morning reveals the aftermath
denial is the response from the rage she caused and brings  every Friday night.



Throw orchids
    over your shoulder
         brush the dust collecting on the ground

                                                    hold the broken
                                       split soil in one hand
                         take the root of life in the other;

reveal the huntsman
        as a dark secret
                entombed in yellow bricks of power

                       where a fox with an electronic voice
                            talks to us through an electric fence.

This bloodied festival
      a killing month

               that holds only the sinew of summer.
                   where coloured berries
                         sampled coils of black chalk;
the moon playing poker with the psyche
      an unattended piano played
             a symphony of marching boots
                  where a dead radio tuned to an empty studio

                                                                                           switching itself off from the same
                                                                                      voice of news and repetition.     
                                                                           Listen to the dead voices
                                                             spinning reams of decisions

unmasking reality as a lie peddled to us.

What they preside
     is the greater good;

            Burning the print that can seduce

                     the euphonies of human
                           logical harmony,

the sweeter the soundbite is the bitter the lie.

                                                                                        mask that hides
                                                                                 our black economy
                                                                         feed the sugar  

pour only used water. 



Matt Duggan was born in Bristol U.K.

His poems have appeared in Osiris, The Dawntreader, Ink Sweat and Tears, Lakeview International Literary Journal, Prole, Trafika Europe, Tipton Poetry Journal, and many others. 

In 2015 Matt won the erbacce Prize for Poetry with his first full collection Dystopia 38.10, and won the Into the Void Poetry Prize in 2016. In 2017 Matt was invited to Boston to read at the Luminous Echoes event and has been invited back to read in Boston and New York in 2018. Matt has a new collection now available called One Million Tiny Cuts and is available from New York publishing house Clare Song Birds.

Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Matt over on the Orson's Publishing blog.