Matt Broaddus


The room grows crowded. Inside, Fernando Pessoa is making himself. Versions of Fernando spill drinks, laugh and rage at each other. Some pick up grass and eat it, uninterested in speaking with their creator, who is busy making more of himself anyway. From their gazebos, aristocratic Fernandos watch their Fernando sheep. In the hills, shepherd Fernandos tend the sheep under the long eyes of their employers. Fernandos go into town to buy stamps from Fernandos at the post office. They send letters to distant Fernandos, which are delivered by Fernando mailmen. Reality creation continues on schedule. The neighborhood expands.




Dream Information

Maybe the door opens. Maybe I enter, cautious as always, tiptoeing like I’m sneaking through my long lost neighbor’s kitchen. The forest greets me, maybe full of tree­like boughs windswept in an airless chamber. Maybe knowing is some kind of violence I cause the forest, the paths cutting through, the swell of creatures I’ve never seen who speak like flutes. Tinged with indigo light in what I know to be a room without illumination, a room that is not a room holds me and all this life in a forest where I smell what I guess is not ­quite sage. Maybe I follow the smell to a foreign coastline, a foreign ocean. Maybe none of it’s foreign, I’ve just forgotten. Maybe I can speak the language of that moment. Alone on the horizon, among the waves, maybe a lighthouse holds up the sky.



So I’ve decided to become a mentat

The sound is too big.

In the heat of the crowd,

mass of musical darkness,

individual faces detach

from their bodies, the room,

this planet, this plane.

Chaos is its own sign.

The nocturnal city,

a silver wave

punctuated by red lights, by blue,

spins around my body,

arrayed among data points.

People swaying on the floor­­—

I am one of them.

I live in time

so I dance.

You hand me a drink.

I remain alive.



MATT BROADDUS is a Cave Canem fellow whose poems have appeared in Small Po[r]tions, LEVELER, and The Offing. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.