SEEDLINGS by Matthew Brown one Just exploded from their bombs, ball-and-chain acorns still attached, something about white oak seedlings felt like a quintessential expression for me. I wanted to see them and have them be seen. I dug them easily at vacant land under old oaks and a red wagon corralled them to be my own. The puzzle-fit scallops and sinuses of leaves, adjacent, tessellated whorls, almost corals, covered two feet of square ground next to my parents' stoop. These were my first book of poems. They embarrassed my sisters. But Mom and Dad held silent thinking perhaps what little trouble this was compared to what might be. two This stump in the forest let me think of that time. A mountain miniaturized, shining with verdant, incarnadine wintergreen; open-palmed seedlings. Cedar groves of club moss finger these fungus cushions on an organpipe of branches. Congregations of mosses wave colored placards at the subtle eye up all its sides. Nearly an interior, a mirror of an interior landscape, it's no creation of mine. three There was the albino horsechestnut in a flowerpot some kid brought for show-and-tell or maybe it was the teacher but it came out that this ghost of a shroom-colored chestnut, still drawing on its umbilical nut, could not long live – for unlike Johnny Winter, who was not heard of yet, Johnny that albino man who in his cloud of hair stroked a guitar blue as his foxfire eyes into the night – it could not go on once the nut emptied. For a tree unlike a man cannot eat, must make food through its skin out of sunlight but without green chlorophyll cannot. Then I began, or rather continued, to meditate on this strange self-contradictory world, the only world I knew.
Matthew Brown has been writing poetry for over 45 years, and is currently enrolled in the master of fine arts program in poetry at Ashland University. He discovered he had Asperger Syndrome after his daughter told her life story to a college counselor, who then suggested that her dad might have Asperger’s. Online research as well as personal and family reflections confirmed it, although there is no official diagnosis.
This past spring Matthew, with his wife Kay Elizabeth, participated in the first-ever Paris Residency of the Ashland University MFA program with Angie Estes, which was a rewarding and beautiful experience, being only his second time and Kay’s first overseas. He expects to graduate next August.