Matvei Yankelevich


Chris R.
A Typewriter Portrait

          Marooned on the uninhabited island
          of Boston, well, near there,
surrounded by tuna swimming in cans
          Mr. Rizzo thought twice about
returning to that same spot where he was
          standing already, cherubs flying
in pitchers of goldfish, glass vases
          sort of like a merry-go-round

          The reporter on his belt buckle asks:
               what makes you quiver
          Mr. Rizzo, 9am.
                                   9pm. 29pm. Islands?

          And the square root
                    of a prime number, being
          prime, was one and the same.

                    collar afloat on blue water, snug
          in the commonplaces of sneaker-like
                    shoes of prowess (you know the kind

          winged), like a white towel that flares
                    up in the darkness of the inside
          of a mechanism so dark it is fathoms
                    deep in ink, maroon ink, a veritable ink-
          well around the eyes, this portrait
                    – said the reporter –

          – with a grin upside down –

                    hangs on a wire.


Victor M.
A Typewriter Portrait

your pants are on.
They’re blue
jeans, just like a better day
It’s been so long since you
were a kid, now you are a pro
I had this notion
like shampoo lather
the mail works, thank god
and your fingers are touchstones
solved puzzles are a drag
if Yale was another planet
it would have meant more
kicks for you
                        how often do you
have to shave
            when I knew you last
            you were pretty
            much the same, a sign
            of strong backbone
            in your retroactive smile
            this day is loud white
and it starts right out
like a starched white shirt
under which is a person of
many little dreams in the
potholes of historic New York
you’ve been walking in the
may your pockets be full
            of postcards when the
                        subway rolls over and crests
                                    like a wave on the hour hand.

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