Poems by Mather Schneider


The first night I had my driver’s license
I drank a 6 pack and bor­rowed my mother’s car.

I turned the head­lights on, backed out
and was about a half mile down the road

when I had a col­li­sion with a big deer.
He slid onto the hood as I hit the brakes

and when I skid­ded to a halt
he scram­bled down and ran off,

leav­ing me with a bro­ken light,
some blood on the paint, fur in the grill,

star­ing into the woods on a dark coun­try road,
not a scrap of meat for my trou­bled mother.


In the ceme­tery shadows
she pushed me against somebody’s grandpa’s
grave stone,

knelt in the excelsior
of the pine mulch
and showed me

that god walked the earth.
Death’s rock etched my back
as I fought but

lost myself
into the wet vel­vet corridor
of her throat.

My balls howled and a dark angel
clung to my leg.
Slow­ly the moon pulled

itself back together.
Not fifty feet away
beyond the flim­sy border

of bougainvil­lea
rushed the insane traffic
of lost souls.


I was born in Peo­ria, Illi­nois in 1970 and have lived in Tuc­son, Ari­zona for the past 14 years. I love it here, love the desert, love the Mex­i­can cul­ture (most of it), and I love the heat. I have one full-length book of poet­ry out called DROUGHT RESISTANT STRAIN by Inte­ri­or Noise Press and anoth­er called HE TOOK A CAB from New York Quar­ter­ly Press. I have had over 500 poems and sto­ries pub­lished since 1993 and I am cur­rent­ly work­ing on a book of prose.


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