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  April 2014
volume 11 number 1
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  contributing poets
  Scott Alexander
  Shawn Aveningo
  Jonathan Beale
  Jack G. Bowman
  Betsy Burke
  Matt Burns
  Shibani Chattopadhyay
  Rachel Coventry
  Tyler Dupuis
  Allison Grayhurst
  John Grochalski
  Hedy Habra
  Samantha Henderson
  Augustus Invictus
  Natalie Itzhaki
  Scott Jacobson
  Alex Johnson
  Mikel K
  Craig Kurtz
  Phillip Larrea
  N.M. Leepsa
  Anthony Magistrale
  Brendan McCormack
  Christopher Mulrooney
  Philip ONeil
  Ebi Robert
  Walter Ruhlmann
  April Salzano
  Jake Sheff
  Rishan Singh
  Julia Stein
  Allen Taylor
  Paul Tristram
  Wanda Vanhoy Smith
  Claire Walker
  Viola Weinberg
  Claire Williams
  mailing list
Matt Burns
April 2014



photo by mauricio alejandro ramos

    Matt Burns is a writer and short filmmaker from the Boston area. He has written five novels, more than a dozen screenplays, countless short stories, and hundreds of poems. His poetry has most notably been acclaimed by renowned poet Micheal Teal (Teal runs Burns runs a website ( that promotes his writing and short films.



Walk of Shame

The path is all too familiar.
Every landmark
Pumps shame
Into my blood.
Itís a conditioned response.
Like Pavlovís dogs.
If somebody showed me a photo
Of any of those places
I would feel the shame.

It ruined the Charles River for me
Or at least that part of the Charles.
Or maybe just

First, itís the mechanicís garage.
Some sort of rack with tires on it.
The sounds of drilling
Tire pressure sssssssstttttssss.
Each sound pumps more shame
Into the veins.

Then the bridge is next.
The Charles waterís flowing
The ducks floating
Birds chirping
All happy to start a new day.
I envy their enthusiasm.
And the innocence.
Nothing to regret from the previous night.

The traffic whizzes by me
And Iím still wearing my clothes
From last night.
All wrinkled.
My hair matted and parted
In all the wrong ways.
Crumbs of eye crust.

The drivers may be able to see
The blemishes.
Or maybe Iím far enough away
To still look normal.

But I feel and look like a zombie.
Head so fuzzy
Not present
Not even on earth
My brain cells all currently dysfunctional
My skull feels hollow.
The booze burned up
All the intelligence.
Like somebody had poured
Acid into my ear.

After the bridge comes a weird
Blue-collar workers
Pulling up to their places of employment
In pick-up trucks
Extra-large Dunkins coffees in hand.
Ready to work.

And then thereís me.
The zombie suffering the consequences
Of a thirsty-Thursday night.
They glance over
And see that somethingís off.
The attire isnít rightÖitís for nighttime
Not day
And itís wrinkled.
Cleary suspicious.

Thank God they canít smell me.
There would be odorous acid burps.
Sour vagina.
Stale deodorant.
Stale Natural Ice.

Finally I arrive at my car
Start the engine
And drive off.
Zombie driver
So dangerous
Hung over
But sober
So totally legalÖ

Legal, yesÖ
But everything is so very wrong
Not just me behind the wheel of the car
But me behind the wheel of life.

(previously published at Matt Burns Productions website)

copyright 2014 Matt Burns