Monday, November 3, 2014

Matt Hohner


Has danced into class every day this year.
Some days, he's James Brown throwing off his cape;
others, he's pop-locking old-school style,
moon-walking, doing the Harlem shake, or leanin' wit it.

His eyes always smile, especially when goofing
to cope with the challenge of reading. Today,
something's wrong. I pull him into the hall and ask,
why the angry look, the sulking.

Two cousins shot on their stoop last night,
one dead, he and his brother having just
gotten up to leave, having just turned the corner
to walk the two blocks home.

This world of darkness, punctuated
by muzzle flashes and numbness,
has followed him on two different buses,
across district lines, into the good school
where his mother lied to get him away from it.

He had turned the corner,
but the world he left behind now sits
at the third desk back on the right,
its shadow eclipsing his eyes.

Matt reads "Kevin":

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Matt confesses: "Kevin was a bright, creative, but needy kid at Towson High School. I identified more often with kids like him than with the majority, privileged kids at that school. His story in that hallway will always stay with me."

Photo credit:
Jennifer Andiorio
MATT HOHNER, a Baltimore native, holds an M.F.A. in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where he won the 1996 Ted Berrigan Scholarship and the 1996-97 Honors Scholarship. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Baltimore Review, Dancing Shadow Review, Maryland Poetry Review, The Pearl, WordWrights!, September Eleven: Maryland Voices, Poets Against the War (online), The Potomac (online), Lily (online), The Mom Egg Review, and Truck (online). His voice can be heard on two spoken word CDs: Word Up Baltimore! and The Road Less Taken: The Saint Valentine Sunday Poetry Marathon 2001. Hohner also has appeared on "Poetry Jam," a Baltimore-area cable TV program. His chapbook, States, was published by Third Ear Books. For four years Hohner hosted the monthly poetry reading series “Second Saturdays” at the Red Canoe Bookstore & CafĂ© in Baltimore. Hohner no longer teaches English for Baltimore County Public Schools, and couldn't be happier about that!

1 comment:

Melinda Bennington said...

Nice to meet you, Matt. Maybe I will see you at Wilde Readings - your poetry is lovely.