Adrian Matejka

De Afro-Amerikaanse dichter Adrian Matejka werd geboren in Neurenberg, Duitsland, op 5 september 1971 en groeide op in Californië en Indiana. Hij studeerde af aan de Southern Illinois University Carbondale met een MFA in Creative Writing. Hij heeft beurzen ontvangen van de Cave Canem Workshop, de Guggenheim Foundation, de Lannan Foundation en de Amerikaanse kunstenaars. Hij debuteerde in 2003 met “The Devil’s Garden”. In 2009 volgde “Mixology”. Zijn derde bundel, “The Big Smoke” uit 2013 ging over Jack Johnson en was finalist voor de National Book Award 2013 en de Pulitzer Prize 2014 en won een Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Zijn nieuwste bundel “Map to the Stars” werd in 2017 uitgegeven. Zijn werk is verschenen in literaire tijdschriften en tijdschriften, waaronder American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Poetry, Plowshares, Prairie Schooner, en in bloemlezingen, waaronder From the Fishouse en The Best American Poetry 2010. Matejka doceert literatuur en creatief schrijven aan de Indiana University. Hij woont in Bloomington, Indiana met zijn vrouw, dichter Stacey Lynn Brown, en hun dochter.

If You’re Tired Then Go Take a Nap

I never liked bridges or cops & there
are more of both of them in the suburbs,
lording over possibilities like stumbles

do stairs. Down the blue & white set next
to the small gym after first period, shoelace
caught under a new bully’s foot. He would

have gotten stole on in Carriage House, but
not by me. Gots to chill or it’ll get worse:
in blue Jams & pushed off summer’s slick

ledge, long fall into the private pool broken
into three distinct verses: the flail & giggling
girls, the sun-stroked lifeguard’s exclamation,

& the red-handed water’s backslap rising up,
splitting into two, more chlorinated skies.


Ticket on the Titanic

Etta & I had no intention of missing
the maiden voyage of the finest ship
built by man, but Captain Smith drew
the color line almost as quickly as Tommy

Burns did. I expected the line from
a frightened prizefighter, but an English
sea captain? He should be more principled.
Especially after I offered $4,000 for each

ticket. Of course, that color line kept me
from fighting our way onto a lifeboat
after that iceberg. That is a fight
you can bet your last copper I would

have won. Even after all the offense
I suffered & the indignity of being refused
passage, I would never dance the Eagle
Rock after all those people drowned.

Adrian Matejka (Neurenberg, 5 september 1971)