Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

c. samuel rees


There may be nothing so quiet as an end.
Milan Kundera

If you can name the structures
what can possibly hurt you?
Seminal vesicle, vas deferens,
incantations of warm gel, the ping
of machines in this darkened room.
Organ in litany: Man up, be a man.
Be imperative, be unassailable.
Impossible. My stoic technician Tanya
slips on a mask impossibly Gorgon
when the lights go black. Echoless as
stone to human ear she sits. Somewhere
the radiologist weaves webwork
from my wet workings &
statistical predisposition.
Each gonad a space resonant
with tissue misted-white & black
in the image's clutch. What grew,
half-nightmare, half-rumor, through
wet dreams, first fucks, lonely masturbation,
all the passing years metastasize & I am briefly echo
& chamber & I listen closely to bloodflow
trying to catch a harm I cannot hear.


The Investigated Body


And, broken ghosts with glow-worms in their heads,
The things of light
File through the flesh where no flesh decks the bones.

Dylan Thomas, Light breaks where no sun shines

I shave to see the boy I was revealed
in shades of sprung red & candy cream

vulnerable like a hank of beef
bloodying the guttered stillness of the block

how this face is a lexicon driven so deep they'll find
traces of it in my lymph nodes when they cut me

dappled black with utterings down to my studs
spelling flight & fight & freeze


to etch is to strip the surface leaving
only absence to nurse the eye

to etch the opposite of flee
leaving reside empty, appositive, & raw

this meat a lexicon of doubles, plurals,
agreements, & abuses

two bodies sliced down the middle, stitched together
prefix & suffix no matter how many revisions thread the sutures


annotations sprout in the the razor's wake:

how every human embryo forms with gills
before they are erased by new limbs

how condensation is both the rain above
& bones in the womb

how some moths emerge without a mouth
to feed, speak, or bite

how one can collect just about anything that pleases them
with the trick of violence & semantics:

a thicket of children
a grimace of fists
a harrow of violation


myths trussed well enough
forgo forgetting & are truer for it

when we reach the Underworld
we all become female again

as if we relearn how to shift
& shape ourselves anew

according to the truth that groupers
& white perch are born into:

form renatured isn't rewritten
in the furled depths of design

but overgrown with creeping life
            & tempered to its demands


anything is true when whispered to a mirror
because its whispering back corroborates your story

tell me stories meant to break my spine
of how familiar hands strip, toss, & empty

this sink of my cheeks, brow, lips
& how finally I am free to chatter volumes
with a glance

C. Samuel Rees has been featured in The Fairy Tale Review, Grimoire Magazine, The Account, Bridge Magazine, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and JMWW, among others. Most recently his poem "Guten Abend, Gute Nacht" was nominated for a pushcart prize. C. Samuel is a creature who subsists on a steady diet of horror films and books on desert ecology.