Matt Broaddus

Another Republic

On a windowsill
a church’s onion dome
waits for night

to eat it. I have to unfasten
my ego, my corporeal
self. It doesn’t hurt

to be like a bicycle
like a canal
like a printing press

in another country
that funds the arts.
Telescopes don’t 

experience anxiety. A dame
walks into a private eye’s office.
I, antimatter, anticlimax. 

Print Shop

What I make
with my hands
the mountains overlook

distantly. I print
the wind. When it
howls I want

to know its language, have you
know it too
in the many-tongued city.

In purple evening’s 
union shop
the moon punches in.

Fish kiss—
surreptitious palindromes
in the municipal water supply.

If I pull the lever, will you
reverse my speech,
catch the tiger’s leap?

From the author: These poems were experiments in tercets, but also inspired by my discovery of a letterpress studio in my neighborhood (if you can believe it, now there are two letterpress studios in my neighborhood). My wife–the poet Kodi Saylor–and I got involved making a few prints with local printmakers, which really alters the way you approach writing. So much time and care is involved in setting type that my poems around this period became extremely image-focused and spare. I was also reading A Poetics of the Press (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2021) around this time, which is a fantastic collection of interviews with small press publishers and printers that amounts to an oral history of American small press culture going back to around the 1960s. All of that was swimming around in my mind when these poems were written in late 2021. 

Matt Broaddus is the author of the poetry collections, Temporal Anomalies (Ricochet Editions, 2023) and Deeper the Tropics (BUNNY Presse, 2024). His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Annulet, Denver Quarterly, and Fence. He has received support for his writing from Cave Canem, Community of Writers, and Millay Arts. He lives in Colorado and works at a public library.