Two-ish Poems (Matthew Medendorp)

The Poetics of the Moon

Every time a poet mentions the moon, the moon swallows an astronaut. The moon has swallowed many astronauts—they live in a colony in her belly and occasionally cause indigestion. Instead of oxygen, they breathe the promise of cheese, soon to be delivered. They tenderly wipe moondust from companion’s silver visors, they re-christen each other diminutives of Jonah, they say they love each other equally but, secretly, each have a favorite. By law they can only listen to Pink Floyd. Once every half-decade they send missives into the dark atmosphere, writing in constellations to the poets of Earth, politely requesting a break. The moon’s belly is getting crowded and stasis is hard to bear so close to Ursa Major. At an observatory, an astronomer with an English minor stares at the stars in time to witness a brief comet emerging from the lunar shadow. Inspired, the astronomer, who is soon to remember they are actually a poet, reaches for a pen as the moon dutifully prepares to make her ritualized consumption.

I Eat Dinner with a Catholic Priest and a Thousand Tom Buchanans no. 1

I was raised with a Republican God and the American dream. Last night I sat next to a man with elephants on his socks. I had sharks on mine. Whose shoes do you think were more scared? Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Thank you Lord Acton and the minister from Detroit who says he loves his city. “Isn’t it beautiful, all the potential?” The room is filled with laughter and money and I decide that wearing blue socks to a black tie affair was a mistake.

I Eat Dinner with a Catholic Priest and a Thousand Tom Buchanans no. 2

The laughter in the room is full of money. A drunk man at the urinal tells me, fraternally, that he has Reagan’s portrait tattooed over his heart and that he is counting on the trickle down to pay for his children’s education. I say that the trickle down is making a puddle. He says that’s the point. I say no your shoes are yellow. He says shit. I say urine sir, the elephants on your socks are swimming in it. He looks at the sharks on mine and I wonder whose shoes are more scared. He says that his penis leans too much to the right so he never pees straight and that the two scariest words in the dictionary are bipartisan agreement. In an effort to be respectful I wash my hands.


Matthew Medendorp is a poet and essayist with an MFA from Northern Arizona University. He lives in Brooklyn, Michigan— a town that confuses people who don’t read through the end of a sentence. You can read more of his work in Hobart, Essay Daily, and at


image: MM Kaufman