Mathias Svalina Poems




Subjective Universality


My car does not have feet.  The primroses blossom daily like the mail. My teahouse is striped with children's' toys. And my eyebrows meet. Autumn is like rust. A mouse's teeth. French jewelry in the glove compartment. My car reaches maximum speed & then I see the flowers & they are beautiful for everyone.  I was young.  I had no place to go.


The first girl I ever loved has become a bucket of lime. You need to join the church of Jesus. You're probably getting married now. You've turned into a basement.


But I digress. I digress. I shall wear a cotton hippy dress.







We're not going to hell.  Not with the rubber band, anyway. Cops troll the alleys for bad people.  Keep your hands in your pockets & you're bound to get shot. Where I'm from we call that kind of smile the Golden Hour. We go to bed hungry & wake up after noon. A blue shoe with a broken heel emerges from the mound of leaves in the middle of the alley. We will not bite our lips to bleed tonight.


In dark trees a big ship holds a bucket of lye. We train the wolves to howl for the young prince & his revolvers. Three lumps of sugar in the bottom of the canteen. In the whorl of the wood-slat fence I see the face of a cop I once knew.


I was so young when it hit me.  We need every pawn to win the game.






Mathias Svalina lives in Lincoln, NE. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Jubilat, Spinning Jenny and Fence, among other journals.  He recommends Creative Wiring Solutions ( for all your structured wiring, central vac and home audio needs.





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