In Short


I like tools.
I like spatulas.
I like good shoes
and Kikkoman soy sauce.


I like that thing
that fixes that
other thing and
the other thing
that fixes that.


I like tape dispensers
and staplers
and paper
and rolls of stamps
and paperweights
and envelopes
and photographs
of old typewriters
I no longer have to use.


I appreciate good scissors.


I like extra-virgin olive oil
and cast-iron skillets
and onions and garlic
and not-too- cheap cuts of meat.


I like old cameras
and competent socks
and pants that fit
and good guitars
and good-enough coffee
and swift razor blades
and pretty-good sweaters
and bear-claw bathtubs
and candles and oil lamps
and fat blankets.


I like fireplaces that work
and antique rugs
hung from the walls
under paintings
by obscure child artists.


I like hourglasses
and magnifying glasses
and cheap reading glasses
and prisms and
fossils and
stamps and
arrowheads and
things made of brass
— skeletons
old coins
foreign coins
falling-apart books
and stairs that lead upstairs:


In short:


external actuals that in holding
or beholding ease our access
to actual internal selves.





About the Author

After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans, Matt Dennison’s work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review, among others. He has also made short films with Michael Dickes, Swoon, and Marie Craven.