Over the next week I’ll be posting information on the poets who will be reading from their work at the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival, Jan 15th-18th.
Matthew Hamilton will be reading his poetry Thursday, January 15th, at 4:30pm.
Matthew Hamilton is a former Soldier, Congressional Aide, US Peace Corps, and Benedictine Monk. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from Fairfield University and is a three time Pushcart Prize nominee. His stories and poems have appeared in a variety of national and international journals, including Atticus Review, Coe Magazine, Noctua Review, Burnt Bridge, Boston Literary Magazine, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, and Muddy River Poetry Review. His chapbook, The Land of the Four Rivers, published by Cervena Barva Press, won the 2013 Best Poetry Book from Peace Corps Writers. Currently, he is the Librarian at Benedictine College Preparatory, an all-male, Catholic Military high school in Richmond, VA.
Snakes Belong in the Wild
As a child,
she kept purple-tailed lizards
in a doll house. The girls at school
called her queen of the reptiles.
A boy pulled a frog from his pocket
and told her to kiss it. She spit
in his face and disappeared
up a tree a maggot, wrapped herself
in bark-colored leaves
and waited for the bell to ring.
Years later, after college,
she disappeared again,
this time into the desert.
Her trailer was a rainforest.
She collected rattlers and corals,
mambas, and a gaboon viper
she allowed to curl around her wrist
like a diamond bracelet.
She never invited guests,
the boys and girls from school
an unbroken reminder of provocation.
She was never reported missing
and her ears and nose thrashed red
for days like exotic butterflies in flight.