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Persistence of Vision and others

Cereal Serial

Part I

Bathed in the dull yellow
First thing in the a.m.
Of the open refrigerator door
Gonna need a lot of
Open the kitchen cupboard,
Look past one box,
And finally reach up
And pull down the
Box emblazoned with the visage of
Saint SNAP!
Flanked by the apostles Crackle! and Pop!
Combined with the milk
"Be a good person" they whisper
"Love your fellow man" they advise
and I lean closer.
From the still open cabinet
Tony the Tiger Glares and says


Cereal Serial

Part II

There are the mornings,
Dark, lonely
When just the puffy rice isn't enough
When I need other counsel
And I reach under the sink
Grabbing the package
Unwrapping, unveiling
Until I can see Saint Snap's
Evil twin on the box of
Cocoa Crispies
He looks like his good brother
For the dark, thin goatee and
Arched eyebrows
(Actually, I drew those
in with a marker myself)
I dump the cereal in the
The milk I pour over them
Turns dark immediately
Pure thoughts evaporate
And my day is off
I'll be helping no old ladies
Across the street today.


Ideal childhood

It seemed the sun shone everyday
I don't remember rain
     Or Snow
     Or blistering heat

I only remember gentle breezes
That tickled my neck
     And raised pretty girls' skirts
     Ever so slightly

As they walked away.


Camping Out

Flat on our backs, we let the world go on around us

The hastily built fire added a crackle to keep time with the chirping song
of the night insects
Embers rose into the air haphazardly and fell into the earth slowly
spiraling to the ground like fireflies on Benzedrine.

The trees formed the ceiling of our own private Sistine Chapel
with a moon roof to let the stars shine through.

Content and safe, we fell asleep dreaming of being everywhere else.


Persistence of Vision

A mouse digging through the field
A rusting milk can on the porch
A multicolored quilt
across the back of a couch
Home comes in bits of flaking grit
and creaks of stairs
It comes in the sudden flight of birds
at an unfamiliar approach
A slowly opened curtain
at the knock of a stranger
A methodically rising garage door
A flag standing red on a mailbox
Home is the memory of a driveway of stones


Matt Betts is a former reporter and news anchor originally from Lima, Ohio. Although he has lived in most of the larger cities in Ohio, he still draws on his small town upbringing as inspiration for his fiction and poetry. He runs a community resource center in Columbus called the write place and facilitates a highly productive writing group called the Naked Wordshop. His poetry has recently appeared in the online journal Red River Review.

Copyright © 2004 Matt Betts.