Educated at the University of Maine and Iowa Writer's Workshop, Matt Schumacher is a vagabond transplant who considers himself an Oregonian. His first book, Spilling the Moon, was published in March, and a second, The Fire Diaries, is forthcoming. His poems have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Green Mountains Review's Anniversary Issue of the American Apocalypse, ZYZZYVA, and live on stage, put to music by a punk rock band named the Iowa Beef Experience. In a July review of Spilling the Moon in New Pages, Micah Zevin wrote, "Matthew Schumacher's poetry challenges the reader to imagine a rich, dreamy world where the improbable is never impossible, and the impossible is brought to life by the author, a puppet master with convincing zeal for all that is alien about being human."
The Children of Electrical Fires
Bear rings which electrocute bride and groom.
Demand flames emblazoned in lapels of angels.
Whisper of sleeping rooms where tousled,
Nameless drunks spontaneously combust.
Bathe in rivers of invisible lightning inside walls and hide
Under carpets with the torched horizons of Sonoran dusks.
Finger ignitable liquid containers with the worst,
Destructive sort of nervousness. Blindfold firemen.
Their skin, all layered shiver, giving cinder a mind of its own.
Their footsteps collapsed stairways of ash.
Their whoops loosed Appaloosas from fiery corrals.
Nothing excites their pulse like this carnivalesque
Of fuses lit for sheer amusement, these spitting appliances
With frayed cords, the spreading hum of malfunction.
Look into the dark for their smoldering eyeshine,
The glint of their smiling electrical outlets,
Or witness the slight hint of their bodies,
Small arms and legs of blue flame
Turning to pure lightning at the surface,
Diving into the deep at speeds proven impossible.