Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

D.G. GEIS


"Now that I only drink water"


the world is full of wonder.

Somewhere near Cairo a baby is born
with a single eye in its forehead.

Although it has no ears (or nose) and is not expected to survive,
the parents are overjoyed,
                            believing it a gift from Allah,

the beneficent, the merciful,
and a Shopkeeper with a strict policy of no returns.

In Dharamsala, the 14th Dalai Lama
blesses the union of Richard Gere and his third wife,

a wealthy socialite from Madrid.
Sources close to the couple say they share a common love
                                                  of altruism, meditation, and good wine.

And on the final episode of The Bachelor,
the guileless kindergarten teacher from Dallas

is pitted against the pragmatic realtor from Portland,
who is explaining to the bachelor

that her family was so poor
she straightened her teeth with her parent’s
                                                       expired credit card.

In a hospital nursery crib, young Polyphemus stirs,
blinks once, and exhales ponderously
                                               through the cave that is now his mouth--

while the Kindergarten teacher confides to the camera
that when the blade dropped

she was just about to fall in love.


"Jamaican Honeymoon"


Tomorrow your footprints will be raked clean,
But today you are floating in the pool
With a frozen Pina Colada.

The pool waiters babble in patwa
While on the balcony a grackle pecks indignantly
At your remaindered breakfast.

Too much bagel, not enough toast.
The bluebird of happiness has darkened considerably,
Prefers champagne to rum, and wants you to know.

Your schedule today is severe:
History in the morning; Nature in the afternoon.
The Tour of Life here runs in reverse.

You will visit the Anglican Church of St. James
(Once the slave's hospital). And later see the vault
Where the slaves burned Massa's money---

And the cottonwood tree
Where the slaves were hanged.
No, you will not save the dolphins.

But while snorkeling at a meet and greet,
One frisky bull will hump your leg.
No sea urchins will give you a wedding gift

And the pedicurist knows all the
Ins and outs of pruning Jefe's feet.
You will survive the couple's scavenger hunt,

Drain martinis with a plasterer
From New Jersey, and sing one too many
Choruses at the piano bar.

Stumble graciously beneath the upturned palms
And pee merrily under the stars before dawn's
Curly light greets you with its rosy hammer.

Your hangover will not go out with the tide,
But over dry toast you will follow the wiggling
Backside of a bridesmaid, jogging on the beach,

Powering up for her first Sunrise of the day.
Poolside, the ponytailed nonagenarian
From Cleveland will be attended to  

So sweetly by his nursing Rasta queen.
And as Ackee trees bow down to meet you,
Peacocks will strut among the fancy deck chairs.

Such Paradise! A garden where Jah
Lets the animals name themselves.
And the Ark never loses sight of land.

This trebled martini of a heaven,
A kingdom peaceable, where The Help
Speak in tongues with words

Which passeth all understanding.
Though what you hear is not for you to say.
It is Almighty Jah

Whispering to his sunburned children.
And the language He is speaking
Is the language of slaves.


D.G. Geis lives in Houston, Texas. He has degrees from the University of Houston (BA English) and California State University (MA Philosophy). His poetry has appeared in 491 Magazine, Lost Coast, Blue Bonnet Review, The Broadkill Review, A Quiet Courage, SoftBlow, Blinders, Burningword, Poetry Scotland (Open Mouse), Crosswinds, Scarlet Leaf,  Sweet Tree, Atrocity Exhibition, Driftwood Press, Tamsen, Rat's Ass, Bad Acid, Crack the Spine, Collapsar, and The Write Place at the Write Time. He will be featured in a forthcoming Tupelo Press anthology and is winner of Blue Bonnet Review's Fall 2015 Poetry Contest. He is editor-at-large of Tamsen.