Two Poems by Matthew Minicucci

Close Encounters of the Third Kind


The sun came out at night, and sang to me. Obviously. Isn’t that just like the cargo ships you find rusting in the desert these days. Those lonely characters we chase right off-screen. Let’s be honest: Neary chosen as the surname for someone who’s experienced a close encounter suggests the writer is pretty fucking heavy-handed. No offense. None taken, in the end, except for our weary Bell lineman. The truth is: space is full of bad sculptors, like a high school art class, or the entirety of Taos, New Mexico. Joking, of course. In space no one can hear you scream, understands your theme, or spotted that all you were really trying to sculpt was a perfectly lovely raceme. Concentrate on the positive: your wife and son are already gone, so there’s nothing to hold you back. Sui iuris. Alieni iuris. Those Curwen signs are so sensual. I see right hand strong; right hand steady. Right hand strong; right hand grand. Sorry, no lah. Not a peep from anyone who might weep. Actually, let’s cut that last part. Take it from me: do not overdo the rhyming. Music never gets you anywhere.      




We can travel through time in a garage, or a hotel room, or a warehouse. Anywhere, really, in anything walled in. The end result is always loss. In this way, time travel is like the rise of Grecian city-states. Or fiber-enriched breakfast cereals. Loss is always best indicated to your audience through poorly cared for facial hair. This is proven by a simple bi-conditional logical connective: if and only if A is unshaven then nothing in this timeline is necessary and/or sufficient and/or we’ve really screwed the pooch. Please begin again. Like all exploratory travel, we do it for the money. We can’t trust our former selves, because of the money. Ignorance is bliss, and also (you guessed it) money. Someday we hope to have a safety deposit box filled entirely with people just like us. Please begin again. The world can change in any number of terrible ways in less than 6 hours. These two men, like all patriarchs, just stumbled upon the future: patient Abraham, sacrificing some version of himself, catching his own horns in a thicket of thorns; and this impetuous Aaron; he of the golden calf; speech-wroter; the OG scape-goater. Look at those beards, long-grizzled. We fucked up. Please begin again.       


Matthew Minicucci is the author of two collections of poetry: Translation (Kent State University Press, 2015), chosen by Jane Hirshfield for the 2014 Wick Poetry Prize, and Small Gods, forthcoming from New Issues Press in 2017. He is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Wick Poetry Center, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received his MFA. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from numerous journals and anthologies, including Best New Poets 2014, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, and the Virginia Quarterly Review, among others.