top of page


by Matt Pasca

In 1985, my crush on Whitney Houston

                helped me through latchkey benders

of cool whip & sauerkraut


I execute wasted motion by lethal injection

                A crowded beach obscures beauty the way

clutter slows my wifi connection to God


                                                                                                Men wield insecurity like damascene blades

                                                                                A broken guitar string can be used as a tourniquet

                                                                                                Life is a windshield, a bearing wall, a first aid


                                                                                kit, a colonnade scorched by an ancient sun

                                                                                                no one has forgiven

                                                                                I am aware my use of time is unsustainable


                Sometimes I write in Arabic or Cuneiform

or Sanskrit only it is none of these

                A thousand hungry trout swirl in hatchery shallows like revenge


In 1967, my mother typed my father’s poems instead of her own

                If we shake hands, it means I’ve not yet found a way to love you

I would have been a willing tourniquet for Whitney Houston


                                                                                                In 1989, my father died in a wheelchair

                                                                                in a hospital lounge, having never

                                                                                                learned to make me talk


                                                                                                Some damascene blades hang

                                                                                over dinner tables, unsheathed

                                                                                                When I talk to my younger


son, I am a broken

                guitar string—nothing

is guaranteed but wasted motion

MATT PASCA is a poet, teacher and traveler who believes in art’s ability to foster discovery, empathy and justice. He has authored two poetry collections—A Thousand Doors (2011 Pushcart nominee) and Raven Wire (2017 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist)—and serves as Assistant Poetry Editor of 2 Bridges Review. In his corner of New York, Matt curates Second Saturdays @Cyrus, a popular poetry series, and spreads his unwavering faith in critical thought and word magic to his Poetry, Mythology and Literature students at Bay Shore High School, where he has taught for 22 years and been named a New York State Teacher of Excellence.

Tip the Writer.png


October 2019

bottom of page