Enter the Kingdom by Matthew Milia

Summer's begun
The drummers are hungry
The sound of the gun
On Livernois stung me
I wake in the afternoon
Napping in your cocoon, hon

The women around here
Poisoned by glamour
The sound in their ear
From some nine pound hammer
That falls from the thundercloud
I wonder if I'm allowed, dear

To break it away
And enter the kingdom
Remember the way
You luckily winged him
The hapless intruder
We kept every looter at bay

The night is that thief
It slices the screen door
It corrupts belief
That we'll ever restore
The majesty tasted
The metaphor wasted on me

The denseness of air
I see it so thickly
And what's stored in there
And flowing so slickly
The lungs of the lilacs
The tongues of the climax
Ensnare

The dumbness of death
The prenatal coma
Then your mother's breath
The awesome aroma
Of waking up welcome
The fatal diploma
To bear

In perfect July
Bulging and bending
The banquet is dry
And rapidly ending
The family scattered
And all that once mattered will die

I sleep in the bush
That separates the houses
I wake with a push
From random ex-spouses
That pace through the neighborhood
In case there's a way they could try

To break it away
And enter the kingdom
Remember the way
Remember it, darling

If You Can by Matthew Milia

I got replaced
Chapped lips on my wasted face
Now every vowel just drips into the night
But oh
Your lips used to catch my drips so tight
With delight

What's this I see?
The miracles of modernity that pool
I drive by my old school at night
Something stays behind to keep the light
So bright

And oh
You know I'd like to see you make it back
To that night of barely bluish black
I guess we'll see
Won't we?
Won't we see?
If you can

Nothing Is Working by Matthew Milia

Nothing is working
My galaxy was a fallacy after all
The phone calls
Have all but ceased
But at least I still hear

The dial-up modem
Still screeching and swollen
In my ear

All the while upholding
The viable slogan

That nothing is working
My galaxy was a palace to me
And that's all
The strip malls
The soccer games
Cocker spaniel names
I recall

Jennifer says
That whenever my hesitation
Is lurking
She doesn't care
She'll still be there
When nothing is working

Dysfunction
Is something
I love

Gauche by Matthew Milia

Here's a little kiss
For little miss gauche
Chatty and bratty and rather precocious
Gather up the inimitable neurosis
That you brag about

Measure my shoe size in the frozen snow track
When you rise, swallow your Prozac
And meet me at the diner when you stitch up the liner
Of your jacket where you tore the tag out

In this strange new age
We just got each other
Forget all the strange rage
Regarding all the strangers you let in
To meet your mother 

Here's a little icy free advice, see
Twenty-two-year-olds just never entice me
Well, maybe once or twice
But I always pay the price
For letting myself in

I'm always hibernating until the regrets flee
Salivating soon as somebody lets me
The girl that I was dating seldom ever upsets the
New situation

In this strange new age
We just got each other
Forget all the strange rage
Regarding all the strangers you let in
To meet your mother 

Here's a little kiss for little miss gauche
Here's a little kiss for little miss gauche

Here's a little slip
It's my approach
I'm chatty and bratty and rather precocious
I slather on the inimitable neurosis
Because I care about
You

Sarah Springtime by Matthew Milia

Our sacred neighborhoods
Now only nominally exist
Your dad's looking for work on Craigslist

So drink red wine with me
At the deserted megachurch
We'll play the broken rec room Sega like it's research

For the way things used to be
And our first taste of sin
One sweep of your breath
Pumps my adrenaline

Sarah Springtime
Is there a thing I'm
Qualified to say?
You mollified the way
That this life feels so ancient
But patient is the nascent little star
And so we are
Adjacent to the Sarah Springtime

Your one-dimensional boyfriend
Who's gotten kind of mean
Your mind's half hot lava
And half dexedrine

Just four years ago
You grieved the four years before that
Four years from today you'll say
That you wish knew where it was at, that

Sarah Springtime
Is there a thing I'm
Qualified to say?
You mollified the way
That this life feels so dated
You know that I waited
In my prime
But now I'm
Slated for the Sarah Springtime

Sarah Springtime
Is there a thing I'm
Qualified to do?
It all relied on you
I still taste the lilacs
Even when the sky blacks out the blue
And I do
Still believe in Sarah Springtime

Gerunds by Matthew Milia

Holiday errands
The piling of gerunds
In the snow
Now that my parents
Really got no
Place to go
Even to cash a check
Flash a little hope card in the deck
Whoa

The sadder that we get
Puffing on your e-cigarette
The moment that we met
Keeps getting harder to regret

So here we are
In your car
Listening to
"Found Out About You"

But one last thing
One last little thing
Seems I'm always holding on
To one last thing

Did you ever get paid
Queen of the downgrade, honey pie
For all the beds you made?
Afraid to show the tears in your eye
No questioning why
Never short on supply

The store wasn't open
For your ibuprofen when I went
The morning was frozen
The salt didn't melt through my intent

So there we were
In a blur
Shouting through
"I'm sick of myself when I look at you"

So one last thing
One last little thing
Seems I'm always holding on
To one last thing

Holiday errands
The piling of gerunds
In the snow
Fuck total awareness
There's only one thing I should know

Visit Me by Matthew Milia

Everyone's home in sweatpants for the series finale of their discontinued fall prime time
Meredith's in Massachusetts with a colonial toothache and the leaves to rake are burning themselves so I'm
Home watching my dad watch the NFL alone
Wish I still had that eternal telephone
I'd call you

So come on down and visit me
My condition petitions so implicitly
I need you

I'm stuck inside each birthday gift that I ever got
Stuck inside the sounds they make when they shift and rot
Beneath you

I want living love and mental access denser
Than the motel continental breakfast cereal dispenser
I want those eyes you made at me
Those bedside globes
Those orbs

I want your spilt coffee burning my inner thighs
And the watermarks that measure my oscillating size when it dries
And absorbs

So come on down and visit me
My condition petitions so implicitly
I need you

I'm stuck inside the rhythm of your glottal stops
A bottle of codeine and green cough drops
I feed you

Everyone's home in sweatpants for the series finale of their discontinued childhood
I wound up in Providence as a second-rate dramatist
And I'd write the second act if I just could

So come on down and visit me
My condition petitions so implicitly
I need you

I wrote it on the notepad of the suggestion box
I'll breathe the desperation till
The kingdom unlocks
For me too

Positively Freaking by Matthew Milia

Sarah picks at her salad on the tennis court
Has a valid passport
Ready to go
I am sure

I watch 90s sitcoms at my dad's place
All the modern fads base
Themselves apropos
The obscure

At Office Max
Received your fax
You're coming home

Spring is always coming in a manner of speaking
Everything is numbing when it's not positively freaking
Positively freaking

I still hear the smack of saliva
From when he was alive the
Way my grandpa talked

Summer lives in back of the mind of
You when you were kind of
Drunk and sweetly blocked

The mascot died
And at his side
The grown man cried

Spring is always coming in a manner of speaking
Everything is numbing when I'm not positively freaking
Positively freaking

I am always coming in a manner of speaking
I remember something you were tacitly seeking with your eyes
We refuse to exit when our powers are peaking
Everything is numbing till we're so positively freaking
Positively freaking

Appears on Enter the Kingdom

 

 

Our Flowers Are Still Burning by Matthew Milia

In the sunken silhouette
Of your drunken pillow wet
From the teardrops that your sweet eyes
Are now churning

In the early morning light
On the curly fry you bite
That's left behind by deadbeats
Undiscerning

When the party is through
And the people you knew
Have all dissolved to day jobs
That they're spurning

If I fail in the end
Just to find me a friend
Beneath each flaming wreath
I've been upturning

I am soaking from the sun
I am joking with someone
I am hoping that our flowers are still burning

In the speckled melanin
That has freckled up your skin
A vivid new infinity I'm learning

In the markings of the rain
In a sparkling pattern plain
Bursting a refrain of hot returning

There's a flame on your tongue
And a name still so unsung
Among the shitty wages that we're earning

If our flowers appear
Still ablaze in a year
I won't fear that the poverty's concerning

I am soaking from the sun
I am joking with someone
I am hoping that our flowers are still burning

27 Dollars by Matthew Milia

Jennifer
Whenever
You decide
I'll be around

The temperature
In Detroit this summer
Is certified
To bring the whole thing to the ground

But everything will be better
Someday when the TV letters
Of the station that I used to watch

Rearrange and spell my heaven
Maybe channels 4 and 7
Will broadcast the entire life I've botched

Everything will awaken
And if I am not mistaken
You still owe me
27 dollars

With a senator
As your benefactor
You got pretty good at
Cashing checks from the man

Now you're lost
In your mother's sweater
That you ask me to recognize
And you know that I can

But everything will be butter
When we fracture in each other
And mix around a hundred broken parts

So meet me at The Lodge this evening
As all the bastard boys are leaving
I'll be beside the arcade throwing darts

Everything will awaken
And if I am not mistaken
You still owe me
27 dollars

You know what it's for

I Don't Know When I Am Anymore by Matthew Milia

I'm the slush gush martyr
Of Keego Harbor
I'm the parter of the frozen Sylvan Lake
Water
And I'm in love with this crooked
Optometrist's daughter

And I don't know when I am anymore

I'm the cameraman
For the abandoned township meeting
Recording how your summer tan
Dissolved to snowy sheeting
Constantly awaking in the sneering bed of exes
We've repositioned Michigan
Now we're nearing the nexus

Still I don't know when I am anymore

And I am eagerly awaiting
Your next installment
And what dreaming of a Cheers reunion
In my old dormitory basement hall meant

But I don't when I am anymore

Date-Stamping Machine by Matthew Milia

The television is a date-stamping machine
It's playing a movie I saw with my dad
When I was fifteen

Some winter break
When every lake was frozen clean
A dirty snow bank, a worried low tank
Of gasoline

The television is filling up with snow
And the dense contents of every night I ever did know
Down Livernois at the Big Boy I let it go
But late at night the reruns bite of the
90s sitcom show

At the library you were a date-stamping machine
You'd stamp my hand when I'd come and stand
Against your desk and lean
In so sweetly, not discreetly nor obscene                         
Aw, my little date-stamping machine

Treadmill by Matthew Milia

I walk through Sylvan Lake at night
I gawk through the window at the TV light
Dripping off the wall of an old friend's parents' bedroom
Slipping down the hall from an old friend's parents' bedroom

Down the flight of stairs where we once lifted a treadmill
Up the flight of stairs back when parents still bought treadmills
And assembled it inside that old friend's parents' bedroom
Trembling with pride of possessions turned to heirlooms

Where the TV light now sifts outs to the dark street
The frigid TV light drifts down onto my dark feet
That creep along the lake
Just like Halloween is broken
A car alarm's awake
And a sleeping car's been woken

Across Sylvan Lake
Where I stand in front of this
Large estate where I once had my first kiss
The babysitter lied
The lips had all been flavored
The patriarch had died
My synapses all wavered

In the autumn night

Went Down by Matthew Milia

I turned 27
On the day of the election
Teleported rudely to some movie
We once saw

Despite my soft intentions
And Amtrak missed connections
I never thought you'd hurt me
Or desert me here so raw

You fucked over me
So I will not be seeing you
The way that shit went down's a shame
It's true

I never thought that we
Could be estranged from what we knew
Turns out I didn't know
A thing about you

Maybe you will wise up
When the puddle around your platforms dries up
I don't care, I won't be there
To hear your giggle then

With all your pretty knick-knacks
In your bedroom with my heart attacks
Is where I'll be when you try to see
The love we had back when

You fucked over me
So I will not be seeing you
The way that shit went down's a shame
It's true

I never thought that we
Could be estranged from what we knew
Turns out I didn't know
A thing about you

Song for Paloma by Matthew Milia

Winter rains and window panes
And the banes of my existence
Dish racks and the swishing smacks
Of Paris in the distance

Sign online for a Valentine
Or a version of the New Year
Impersonating some young face of mine
Seen once in her mirror

Paloma has a voice
That is womanly and choice
And throaty in the moment
That she speaks
Met her once or twice
And it always was nice
But I've thought about her
When the midnight sneaks
Off to the vague dark blue
Again

When every brand of love I've bought's been
Marked up and expired
And the smell of pencils keeps me up
When childhood's rewired

I've talked to her till the strange daybreak and dawn
Got reacquainted
I've walked with her on mental sidewalks snowed on
And ice-painted

I've kept a cabinet of French verbs and backup contact lenses
Imaginary rescues that I guard with self-defenses

I sang to her for one whole night
In the silliest of tenses
On some sweet night I'll make her sing for me
As my throat clenches 

Because Paloma has a voice
That is womanly and choice
And throaty in the moment
That she speaks
Met her once or twice
And it always was nice
But I've thought about her
When the midnight sneaks
Off to the vague dark blue
Again

Song for Ben by Matthew Milia

Coffee in the afternoon
Coffee in the evening
Temperature was opportune
You can smell the day's heat leaving

People getting famous
And they jet them to a distant planet
All that remains nameless
Can never be taken for granted

You kiss her and she tastes like gin
She tastes like pine needles
When you kiss she tastes whiskey
But these things don't impede wills

The car window is whistling
Your fingers smell like lighter fluid
The heater's on and hissing
And the equilibrium is humid

Late June and the tents are strewn
All across some lakeshore
All your friends and dividends
They impugn any ache, you're

Breathing in the color
And exhale black and white smoke duller
But beautiful to see
You're just young as you'll ever be

Song for Julie by Matthew Milia

Early winter morning and the moon's up in a gray sky
There's a girl with a duller sun and a black moon to color each eye
Up in Traverse City where the winter is so shitty
And the prettiness of blue ice
Is so sad

When the thaw sneaks in and the snowmobiles sink
Into the lakes
And all winter all you did was drink
And make a few mistakes
You can feel so bad

One night I was driving and the world seemed so conniving
Bit my face and wasted all the blood saved for surviving
Julie was a Catholic in the wrath of young Petoskey
Catholic blood, like summer mud, it's warmed up by the whiskey
And I went to St. Hugo, way downstate in Oakland County
When July comes it dumbs you to just buy into the bounty

Julie, in the summer when you're standing besides
The melted lakes
And everywhere you turn are the whitest of brides
Cutting wedding cakes

Early winter morning and the moon's up in the day sky
There's a girl with a duller sun and a black moon to color each eye

Wanna Turn by Matthew Milia

What keeps you up at night?
Anticipation or the fright?
Is there still a chance you might
Never wanna turn away from
Last year's holy light?

Do you still wear those wings?
The silver ones that I bought you last year?
I suppose those are the sort of things
That get put away
When foreign friends start to appear

I don't think about you down in that booth
In the end when you tried to look so hard
I think about the mornings and your chipped tooth
But I don't care about the truth
If you don't care about my heart

I go down to Waterford alone
I'm taking back the places that were mine
The flea market where faces made of stone
Make it known
The empty space beside me in the line

But I don't think about you down in that window frame
All the snows got in and exposed that risky flame
I don't think about you much of anyplace at all
Last year's holy light is too bright to cling to or view you
At all

What keeps you up at night?
Anticipation or the fright?
Is there still a chance you might
Never wanna turn away from
Last year's holy light?

'Cause if I met you tonight
I'd wanna turn
To try to do it over right

If it all started tonight
I'd wanna turn
To try to keep that holy light

I'd wanna turn

Christmas from a Deadmall by Matthew Milia

Mid-November
100.3
Have yourself
A Merry Little Christmas, baby

I hardly ever leave the house
I wish that I was back
In your little red shack

I am home from war or some tour of some blurry life
To some November world where
You're not my girl or my wife

Drive to Somerset Mall and my sweat pants fall
Move down Square Lake Road
In broken code
In a trance, all

That I could ever need
Is to know there's no loss
What could supersede
Your warm sheets, my Ms. Santa Claus

There's the subdivision
That my nana lives in, where
Christmas lives in basement boxes and
90s sitcom television

Mid-November
WNIC
I'll be home for Christmas
Alone with Bing Crosby

Drive down two-seventy-five
Inside my heated orb
Pretend I'm picking up your
Absent ghost from the airport

But I woke up in Frandor Plaza
In the middle of the night
There was no one there
Just blinding light

In fifteen years, Somerset Mall will be
Just like them all
Summit Place
Dump it all to waste

I pass the white roadside domes
Where the past plays indoor soccer
I pass the bright mansion homes
Where the dusk collects in lockers
I pass the night as it combs
Its way into my adult hair
I pass the light as the night
Stings youth with its sharp air

Merry Christmas, everyone
I see my world so undone
And gone
But where to?

Oh, you
Happy New Year too

(Last New Year's you past through here on the way to your new life and in the childhood bedroom of my father's house I made believe you were my wife.
Your car got stained white in the blizzard world, looking frozen like it had traveled through time through that blizzard world we knew together.
You left and I can't make coffee without being overwhelmed by the simultaneous reminder and absence of your simple sweetness.)

Merry Christmas, coffee pot
It's beginning to look a whole lot like
Christmas

Appears on Even Fuckboys Get the Blues

Somerset Solo by Matthew Milia

I'm going down to Somerset solo
The bummer that you met in the long-sleeved polo
On the skywalk where the passers-by talk
Sassy upper-classers and their bastardized "YOLO"
Carpe diem ideology free 'em from the prepubescent
Designer tedium

Treadmill motion on a retrograde track
Fanny pack holding such uncanny lack
Thinking about the freshman year Christmas dance
Bump and grind in tightening pants
Corsage pinned in my collarbone flesh
Teenage gowns of gauze and mesh

I saw the best minds of my generation pissed
Or brain-freezed up at the Tasty Twist
Ziploc'ed, unredeemed Chuck E. Cheese tix
That my grandma saved for me when I was six
We used to sneak into the Christmas Eve gifts
Now it's all spotty sex and Netflix rifts

Here's what I got you for Christmas this year, dear
A seashell which, if you put it to your ear hear
Me crying like a hundred manger babies
With my eyes frothing like a dachshund with rabies
Now you're the one to exploit my grief
The way they portray Detroit's need for relief

Fruit cakes, fruit flies, fermentation of piss
In the urinal of your new abyss
Your teary-eyed, weary pride, insipid blues
I'm gonna mention them in all my interviews
I told you not to stuff that napkin in that drawer
You're gonna find it someday and feel so sore

I wish I didn't wake to your dead lake eyes
There's a universe of images I'd rather cognize
Like my grandma's slender waist cutting cake at her wedding
Or my father's tender face
As a toddler off sledding
I hope your cigarette always stays long
And your dirty dishes clank to a Christmas song

That's Teemu's squeak-toy