UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
MATHER SCHNEIDER

Laps

The man with the round yellow face
is in the swimming pool again.
He doesn’t swim, he walks,

slow as an iceberg
waist-high in a tired tide.
He walks toward the sun

as it sets, as if it was his wife
falling in slow motion
from a tenth story window. At the edge he gathers

himself, fingertips white
as a shark’s underbelly,
before walking backwards

across the water, like a blind man
to the leaping point,
loyal as the moon.


Deeder of the Damned

Deeder was a six foot four fire hydrant
with ice water blood.
He was kicked off the high school football team
for being too rough,
then expelled from school for ripping out a urinal
and threatening to excrete
down the principal’s neck.
But he stuck around town.
He lived on the street or in the slammer.
Once he killed a police dog
by shoving his fist down its throat.
Deeder never carried a weapon
or raised his voice
but if you dialed nine one one and whispered his name
the cops showed up in minutes.
For what seemed like forever
Deeder haunted the streets,
taverns and nightclubs
with his black eyes and cold brow.
The other day he was found dead:
shot in a hotel room.
Maybe the cops did it,
maybe a drug deal went sour,
who knows.
The truth is as slippery
as an ice cube on a bar top. All I know is
that night we all drank
to a good long life
and then walked home in the dark
feeling strangely empty.









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