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By Matthew Cunha


The Montréal Review, July 2011




New Cartography

What a lonesome road,

the hotel rating man -

across back the country,

giving two stars to

some chain motel in Memphis.

Two stars again in Davenport.

Never unpacking his suitcase.

One star in Charlotte for not

even having the decency

to provide a late night porn channel.

Notebook by his bed

for the times he wakes

up crying, shuddering, it's

cold in here. Those curtains are dirty.


What he's looking for

are some sheets he can trust.

Amenities, give him amenities!

a mini fridge, a mini safe, a mini bar -

with all its mini bottles.

Some extra blankets in Amarillo,

a fitness center in Eugene,

a postcard waiting for him in Lowell.


He'll have his three star days

and sip lemonade by an inground pool.

But back to one star by Friday.

He knows there's four stars

just around the bend. He

knows he'll get his mint

on his pillow, his cold and hot

water, his extra towels,

his Gideon Bible, his tissues,

and the instant coffee maker -

they will all be his.


Zombies Dream of Plum-Coloured Skies


Lock your doors.

A whimper at your windows -

These creatures

leave trails like slugs

as they streak their hands

across your glass -


                  One of them

with eyeballs like grapes.

Behold a world

beaten like a speedbag.

The ground filling up

with blood

and the sky bruised

to pulp.

Everything bleeding on

everything else.


One of them

restless insects

spider flesh.

What beauty

can you now behold!

Terrifying oblivion, the

breathlessness of a ruined world.

Cities glowing like

a toaster in the bathtub.


And when you dream

as one of them

such colors

such frightening colors

of devastation -

The amber

before a nuclear blast

and the soft blue center

of lightening.

You'll see the sky,

bruised as it is,

like a sunset

that stretches on forever.


Pangaea Lost


It wasn't a Fall.


It was a break - a splintering

of the garden, scattering

the children of creation

across the debris

to drift

slowly apart.


It was a BOOM -

God's fist pounding

against the land

he had sculpted,

until it was left

like a shattered

dinner plate.


It was a tantrum -

a lonely artist's


with imperfection

in his own image.


Matthew Cunha graduated from The New School in 2009 with an MFA in Poetry. He has had a few poems published in various journals, and is working on compiling a full manuscript for publication.  He currently lives in New York and works as a Sales Executive at Google.


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