3 poems by Matthew A. Toll

Good News In Heaven

I was golfing up in heaven
when a messenger swooped down
with a letter for me.
It said:

Dear ­­­­­Mr. _______ ,

Congratulations. You’re officially a posthumously published
author. In fact, you’re quite famous down there!
They love you!
I’ve (god) taken the time to write you just to let you know,
in case you decide you want to take a peek down,
see who’s reading what and why you’re so beloved.
Anyways, hope to see you at the New Years party. And
please do say hello to Hank and Ernie for me
should you happen to see them at the pub.
Always warm regards,

-The Old Man.

I smiled then hit a hole in one.


Then Now Forever

lay down by the riverside
and scream at the top of your lungs,
it’s good to get it out.
a bowl of naked baked beans is the world
in a time when a rat can outsmart Einstein,
feathers fall faster than hail
then now forever
in the shadow of high tides and city lights
where swagger filled tramps strut the sidewalks
not sparing one glance for you me
dogs ants geese glass cars or wounded life.
work drink sleep live a day or two and see what happens,
they say.
but can you hack it?
if not get lost in a pint of beer
until you’re swimming high seas in an overpriced taxicab,
it’s good to get it out.
hallways colored red and blue and yellow and purple
and trees growing out of cement blocks give
much needed shade from the library steps
that get a visit from no one
on a regular basis.
melted conscience over murdered hens
but we all gotta eat,
all gotta fuck,
gotta sing,
and buck against our best interests
that probably don’t have us in mind to begin with.
burn the halls with a full cup of love
and smile when no soul is left out to freeze, or
cause the pain that’s undeserved, for
it all is.
it’s good to get it out.

There’s No Turning Back Now

Who remembers Heaven and Hell?
The death of old school—
like oil burned and dumped, wasted life poured in the river for the fish the ducks
and the dragonflies
as I pray for more chaos in a mediocre world.
I know
there’s no turning back now
we’ve reached the sea’s end,
where it snows in July and melts on New Years Eve
when the air is steamier than between a stripper’s legs in the backroom.
The backroom where I once stabbed a man and no one knew I held the entire gamut
of humanity in my back pocket
as I strolled out with a smile on my face that’s never felt a tear and Lucy on my mind
ready to burn a hole through this fucking city
and everything in it.
No one stared,
it was the most glorious moment that mankind’s never witnessed.
Outside, I lit a cigarette as I made my way to oblivion,
and gave the devil a nod when I crossed his path along the road.
He said, “Son, there’s barbed wire in the clouds. You watch out.”
“Well, guess I won’t be making it up to heaven then, will I?”
We had a good laugh then shook hands and broke open the hot iron gates of hell,
freeing more souls than the Red Sea did Children of Israel.
Inevitably the angels came down billions strong
swords in hand scowl of mouths,
but the devil whipped out a guitar and serenaded them to docility.
I collected the swords while they smiled and wept at the music they’d never heard,
(turns out they don’t allow it up in heaven for music can make you sad,
and no one can ever be blue in Paradise),
“I’ll tell ya, pilgrims,” he addressed the contented angels over his sweet guitar’s
sounds, “you’ve been wronged up there.”
Not a stir
not a protest
not a smile or a tear or a joy swept from one face—
wings shriveled and flattened onto the angels’ backs making them look virtually
The devil said,
“See, you’ve come down to kill us. We just wanted to open the gates
and stretch our legs for a minute.
Some fresh air and a cool breeze while no one was paying attention, you know?”
They nodded thoughtlessly.
I remembered then that I had humanity in my back pocket,
so I took it out and poured a sip for every one of those billions of lost warriors,
that they’d never have to know where they were
glued down to the ground with the rest of us.


Published by

Jeremiah Walton

Jeremiah Walton is wary of writing a bio.

2 thoughts on “3 poems by Matthew A. Toll”

  1. Reblogged this on Nostrovia! Poetry and commented:

    Matthew A. Toll offers 3 distinct, and unique, poems for Walking Is Still Honest Press. This man burns cities down, receives letters from God, golfs in heaven, chain smokes, and is just trying to make his way to oblivion.

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