Four Poems

Poetry by Matthew Rohrer
Right now, by Nutsa Gogaladze. Copyright the artist. Courtesy the artist.


A ghost bike display slows me down for a sec
I think Forgive Me but I can’t bear to learn your name
hardly do I remember all the others
we used to spend all night laughing
on a couch at the end of this street
and in a dream there an alien in the kitchen
spoke to me and handed me a drink
I shake myself, the dream is over, a woman with blue lips
tries to smile walking by, earning a D
bright sunlight in November is a tonic
or something but I choose the side in the shade
and walk for miles and recognize a truck
from hours before, the guy in the cab and I lock eyes
but everything else, the whole world, is in turmoil


Thinking strategically, thinking like Machiavelli would think about a family group chat, and then interrupted by the moon obviously in love with some lesser light in the southwest, south-south west actually, about 50 degrees above the horizon. The orbits of the planets are slicing up the sky. Suddenly the green of spring is everywhere. In the dark the clover looks like little parasols dropped by the thousands in a panic, because something horrible was coming, is it me?


Sometimes I don’t know why I come here
I said, looking at a headstone
on which reposed a bear
made of plastic, and very small.
I put my hand over my heart
to hold something in or something.
And she said Oh but it’s sweet
to see the generations come together
The winter light was like a blade
leveled at us by a brigand.
I held in front of me a leaf
that was half red and half
green, it was my only defense.
The light came in so low behind the trees
we had to stoop to admire it
the sharp bloody blade
of winter light


If you have spent a lot of time with the old books, like I have, then you will know there is no way to truthfully represent the voice of a bird in writing. That is what I am sitting here knowing, in the long late afternoon light on the Long Island Sound. An osprey overhead is whining about something. I lived for 50 years without ever noticing an osprey, now every time I see one my soul claps, like a little kid who’s just been told you have something for them. The wind and the tide are working together to bend some white poles in the water. Birds are landing on rocks and saying “yeah!”

Matthew Rohrer

Matthew Rohrer is the author of The Sky Contains the Plans (Wave Books, 2020), The Others (Wave Books, 2017), which was the winner of the 2017 Believer Book Award, Surrounded by Friends (Wave Books, 2015), Destroyer and Preserver (Wave Books, 2011), A Plate of Chicken (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009), Rise Up (Wave Books, 2007) and A Green Light (Verse Press, 2004), which was shortlisted for the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize. He is also the author of Satellite (Verse Press, 2001), and co-author, with Joshua Beckman, of Nice Hat. Thanks. (Verse Press, 2002), and the audio CD Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and The Next Big Thing. His first book, A Hummock in the Malookas was selected for the National Poetry Series by Mary Oliver in 1994. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and teaches at NYU. He can be reached at [email protected].

Nutsa Gogaladze

Nutsa Gogaladze is a self-taught artist, illustrator and curator based in Tbilisi, Georgia. She received a BBA in finance from Georgian International University in 2020. In 2022, Gogaladze completed a non-formal master course in creative mediation at CCA (The center of contemporary art) and founded the social project “March Gallery” to support senior self-taught Georgian artists. In 2024 she illustrated the very first children's book called "Wish Goes home" written by Matthew K Ward, in collaboration with The Museum of The Southwest in Midland, Texas. She is currently having her first solo exhibition in the museum.