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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tim in Camden

As published at Dissident Voice, 4/9/14:

I was born on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Christmas,
And my last name, Matusheski, means “God
Is with you,” something like that. Look across
The street, and what do you see? Take your time.
You say “Crown Chicken, Angelo’s Pizza and King
Gyro”? No, buddy, it says “Crown Angel King,” and
That’s no coincidence, because this city of Camden
Knew I was coming. Before this, I was in Skid Row,
In Los Angeles. You been there? No, it’s no mess!
It may be aesthetically unsound, but not for long,
For the meek will inherit the earth, and that’s why
I leave my vault of gold and my castles unclaimed.
I don’t even know where they are. Doesn’t matter!
I lack nothing. I’ve eaten today. I’m not hungry.
I’m really a Rothschild, but I’ve disowned them.
This morning, while shaving, I saw Jesus
In the mirror, and though He said nothing,
I understand a 15.0 earthquake is coming
That will swallow everything up, for this
Is utterly unacceptable! Prepare yourself.



Timothy Joseph Matusheski said...

Put up my picture bro ...

Linh Dinh said...

Yo Tim,

It's right here:


Linh Dinh said...

Chuck Orloski just emailed me:

Read the poem about Tim, found it very adhesive to mind & heart, and after more consideration, I found out why. In Czeslaw Milosz's international anthology of poem, A Book of Luminous Things, a section called “people among People,” he wrote “People observe and describe people, pronounce their opinions on people, but above all else, people are bound to people by feelings of love, hate, compassion, fear, admiration, loathing.”

Last week, in a poem, you mentioned the disturbed comment-maker, Jim Stix. I thought the poem was good, and Czeslaw Miloscz also said, “it is not certain whether good poetry can arise from hatred.” Lends me to believe hatred is de-volatized by the time you write a poem.

Camden Tim registered 15.0 on my interior tectonic plates. At moment, Phillies have left ten runners in “scoring position” on base


Linh Dinh said...

Yo Chuck,

Milosz spoke of hatred as inspiration, so I'm afraid that hatred is not only NOT de-volatized as one writes a poem, it can even energize it. Milosz:


You whom I could not save
Listen to me.
Try to understand this simple speech as I would be ashamed of another.
I swear, there is in me no wizardry of words.
I speak to you with silence like a cloud or a tree.

What strengthened me, for you was lethal.
You mixed up farewell to an epoch with the beginning of a new one,
Inspiration of hatred with lyrical beauty;
Blind force with accomplished shape.

Here is a valley of shallow Polish rivers. And an immense bridge
Going into white fog. Here is a broken city;
And the wind throws the screams of gulls on your grave
When I am talking with you.

What is poetry which does not save
Nations or people?
A connivance with official lies,
A song of drunkards whose throats will be cut in a moment,
Readings for sophomore girls.
That I wanted good poetry without knowing it,
That I discovered, late, its salutary aim,
In this and only this I find salvation.

They used to pour millet on graves or poppy seeds
To feed the dead who would come disguised as birds.
I put this book here for you, who once lived
So that you should visit us no more.

Warsaw, 1945

Linh Dinh said...

Chuck Orloski responds:


Recall how you and I looked at the underlined C. Milosz poem “Dedication” in our Taylor home. Sweet how incidents come back?

As bible-thumper, and in response to your comment (above) there's an Old Testament saying “hatred of evil is the beginning of wisdom.” Without flattering intent, I see lots of wisdom in your book “Love Like Hate” and poetry.

Am headed out for a walk and plan to get my PA Army/National Guard discharge paper (DD-214), 8-years service, and join “Veterans for Peace.” A good day, after hitting 3 home runs yesterday, I trust Phillie fans will boo Brewer Ryan Braun, subtance abuser, even more tonight.

Chuck Orloski
Taylor, Pa



About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007), Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009) and A Mere Rica (2017), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.