The Future of Terror / 1

By Matthea Harvey b. 1973 Matthea Harvey
The generalissimo’s glands directed him
to and fro. Geronimo! said the über-goon
we called God, and we were off to the races.
Never mind that we could only grow
gray things, that inspecting the horses’ gums
in the gymnasium predicted a jagged
road ahead. We were tired of hard news—
it helped to turn down our hearing aids.
We could already all do impeccable imitations
of the idiot, his insistent incisors working on
a steak as he said there’s an intimacy to invasion.
That much was true. When we got jaded
about joyrides, we could always play games
in the kitchen garden with the prisoners.
Jump the Gun, Fine Kettle of Fish and Kick
the Kidney were our favorites. The laws
the linguists thought up were particularly
lissome, full of magical loopholes that
spit out medals. We had made the big time,
but night still nipped at our heels.   
The navigator’s needle swung strangely,
oscillating between the oilwells
and ask again later. We tried to pull ourselves
together by practicing quarterback sneaks
along the pylons, but the race to the ravine
was starting to feel as real as the R.I.P.’s
and roses carved into rock. Suddenly the sight
of a schoolbag could send us scrambling.

“The Future of Terror / 1” © 2007 Matthea Harvey. Reprinted from Modern Life with the permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Source: Modern Life (Graywolf Press, 2007)

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Poet Matthea Harvey b. 1973

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Activities, School & Learning, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Matthea  Harvey

Biography

Matthea Harvey was born in Germany, spent her childhood in England, and moved to Milwaukee with her family when she was eight years old. She attended Harvard as an undergraduate and the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Iowa. Her collections of poems include Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form (2000), Sad Little Breathing Machine (2004), and Modern Life (2007).

Harvey draws from a wide . . .

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SUBJECT Activities, School & Learning, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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