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Adrian Matejka

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Adrian Matejka

Adrian Matejka is the author of The Big Smoke (Penguin, 2013). He is the Lilly Professor/Poet-in-Residence at Indiana University. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana. 

by this poet


When 213b finally opens in a crack of yellow linoleum, 
Garrett comes out with the left side of his afro as flat 
as the tire that used to be on his mom’s car & the stuck 
snick of the cheap door locking behind him sounds exactly 
like someone trying to light a smoke with an empty

—after “Trumpet,” Jean-Michel Basquiat

the broken sprawl & crawl
of Basquiat’s paints, the thin cleft

          of villainous pigments wrapping 

each frame like the syntax
          in somebody else’s relaxed

explanation of lateness: what had