marina mati has featured in NYC and the Hudson Valley at performance venues, cafes, bars, and bookstores. Her poetry has also been featured by Jonathan Wolfman on the podcast, "Passionate Justice." Publishing credits include Napalm Health Spa on Museum of American Poetics (MAP), editor Jim Cohn; BigCityLit, editor Nick Johnson; and numerous anthologies. Currently, her poems appear in recent Waymark issues, editor Roger Aplon; and Poet Gold chose her social justice poetry to be included in the CAPS anthology "Mightier." Marina was on the board of Calling All Poets for 2 years and is the editor of the 2015 edition of the CAPS Anthology. CAPS has been her poet-home for over 15 years. Thank you to Mike, Jim, and Greg for keeping the home fires burning.

social distance

i thirst for words

from the well of your mouth

to wash through me

fill me

with the matter of your spirit

tell me,

did we connect?

our faces flat

on a screen that distills contact

into distance?

the curve of your back presents itself

to the nape of your neck,

hair, the smell of wet stone,

forehead, flesh-covered dome

resounds with story,

rounds of eyes sculpt

an intention – shuttered in sleep,

they swing open at dawn,

as you lay on a furrowed bed.

and because i grow numb

without you at my side

i will tell you

how my feet feel on the floor.

i thirst for words

from the well of your mouth

to wash through me

fill me

with the matter of your spirit

bring us all back together

bring back the whirl

of dervish conversation,

bring us the summer

of our intermingled breath

bring us back to that

remember us

re-member us

deliver us

march 28, 2020

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My mother taught me to walk in heels.
She didn't teach me to kick.

My mother taught me to smile.
She didn't teach me to question.

My mother taught me to be alone.
She didn't teach me solitude.

My mother taught me vanity.
She didn't like me.

My father encouraged my independence.
He didn't like rebellion.

My father encouraged my talents.
He discouraged my direction.

My father made me listen.
His voice buried mine.

My father made me eat.
He did not feed me.

My brother brought the world home.
I wasn't allowed in his room.

My brother wrote for the college paper.
I wrote for myself.

My brother went to Paris.
I defended against men on the subway.

My brother argued with my father.
I watched.

My parents held to monogamy.
I learned to suffocate need.

My parents held to thrift.
I learned to turn off want.

My sister took care of my mother.
My mother took care of my father.
My father taught Gabriela to sing.
Gabriela bought me a dress.

I took care not to cause trouble.
Trouble took me in.

Trouble took me in
so quietly, I thought it listened.

Trouble took me in
so softly, I thought it was love.

Trouble took me in
with such a thrill, I thought I was free.

Trouble took me in
so deftly, there was no choice.

Trouble has a gnarled face -
Unmasked now, it unravels.

I continue to follow
dazed, hidden
I await the infant to kick.

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​road deconstruction #15

my body has an asphalt aroma.

i'm idle and my fuel tank,

a shot glass, is in the gutter.

outside table

is set with elbow,

fist on cheek, book

of cracked pages.

i watch this scene on the wall of my skull:

my brain, a clod of tendrils in search of a plot.

there is no place to root

in the exposed isolation of the road,

a dead ringer for the physics of chaos.

the shade of an oak is a collective memory.

i glow metallic in the ultra-violet sun.

i've hit a possum and the road, built

with no regard for obstacles,

continues its tail-pipe regret for the shy and blind.

drone of tires rolls out mother's predator pie:

a recipe for chainsaws and parking lots

to expand the rush hour of denial

and shorten the proximity

of stand-up comedian to botched executions.

once deflated, roadkill reveals its broken bones.

unable to stand, life continues

in the crawl of maggots.

may 17, 2014

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