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Cluster index: John Matthias

John Matthias’s ‘Some Words on Those Wars’

A Fortnightly Review. Some Words on Those Wars by John Matthias Dos Madres Press  2021  | 320 pp. | $33.00 By Garin Cycholl. ◊ e kill at a distance, complicit both in the act and its reach. Take the distance of Homer’s warriors versus medieval archers, artillery gunners, bombardiers, or contemporary drone pilots with their […]

5 x 7.

John Matthias: ‘Feel the
Fetters Oh man of letters.
Yield to the testy awkwardness
You care not to confess.’

Three ways to remember.

John Matthias: ‘…neither girl could find a camel
Or a wise man, so Farmer Jones and an old horse
Were made to serve.’

‘A Balsa Wood Plane’.

John Matthias: ‘Once again he had fallen down. He was
Getting good at it. He had fallen off a ferry pier
Into the Adriatic near Dubrovnik. He had
Fallen over the wall around Central Park
Through the limbs of a large tree.’

Hacheston Halt.

John Matthias: ‘Sometimes you’d
Exaggerate quite consciously—
As for example asking a grocer
Where you might find the
Mangelwurzels (sweet red beets).’

The Marriage by Hart’s Crane of Faustus and Helen.

John Matthias: ‘But Hart’s father was
The man who invented Life Savers, the

Ubiquitous candy in everybody’s pocket.’

Pictures, with poems.

John Matthias: ‘Bolder, builder of Bildungsroman
Make materials gleam’

Proust in five pages.

John Matthias: ‘Although Proust does not provide, as Justice does, an actual score, his analysis of the little phrase is quite specific. “He had realized that it was to the closeness of the intervals between the five notes that composed it, and to the constant repetition of two of them, that was due this impression of a frigid and withdrawn sweetness.”’

Some of her things.

John Matthias: ‘I WAS STANDING in the middle of a river. In waist high water and afraid that I would lose my footing and be swept downstream where the river is deep enough to drown in. What I had to do was difficult.’

The Iron Pier.

John Matthias: ‘She remembers a cold November night when she was in her bath with the curtains drawn across the window in strict adherence to the blackout rules. She hears a foghorn out at sea, which she thinks strange because the night is clear. Suddenly the door bursts open and her mother rushes in waving a telegram. “Darling it’s over, it’s over,” she shouts.’

Two Old Judges Stuck All Night in the Lift.

John Matthias: ‘Stewart and Zimmerman were from Cincinnati and Cleveland respectively. For that reason, they stayed in Columbus from Monday night to Friday night, pulling out a foldup beds in their offices. There they would sleep, following dinners at two separate downtown restaurants. They never ate dinner together. ‘

Peter Taylor in double or triple vision.

John Matthias: ‘I knew him, not in the South, but in the Midwest, where he came to Ohio State during a brief period itself interrupted by a year in Paris, about which he wrote one of his best stories, “Je Suis Perdu.” Among other things, that beautiful story is about a writer who has come to Paris too late—too late in the century, and too late in his own life.’