“Gymnopédies No. 2”

By Adrian Matejka Adrian Matejka
In nyc, we stalked fishes
             in filets of sounds: delivery
             engines & ashy doors

clapping shut, vendors
knuckling fin & silhouette-

             shaped words into salty
expectations. My daughter

& I walked down a couple
             of  slim-bricked blocks
             that smelled like snapper

& afro sheen with no afros
in sight. On snaggletoothed

streets, we double-took the wet
alleys where things jumped

off the hook like smart seafood
             before lunch. We parted

the perfect & abundantly wintered

streets. My daughter said, I know
these parts like a tired pianist
             resting on her bench.

Source: Poetry (January 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2014
 Adrian  Matejka


Adrian Matejka was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up in California and Indiana. He earned his BA from Indiana University and an MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His first collection of poems, The Devil’s Garden (Alice James Books, 2003), won the 2002 New York / New England Award. His second collection, Mixology (Penguin, 2009), was a winner of the National Poetry Series. Mixology was a finalist for a NAACP . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, Nature, Winter, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life, Activities, Travels & Journeys

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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