Country Music
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 Matt Ryan


Pet Detective


Fishhooks pull down the corners of a man's mouth. Use a noodle as bait and he'll bite. He was just minding his own business, skinny dipping with the carp when me and my fishing pole had to interrupt. His relationship with the animal kingdom, he'll tell you, is complicated. He bears the weight of depression-a sadness that pulls down his shoulders and slinks to his feet, that when punctured, release carbohydrates. This sort of energy is slippery to those in its proximity. It'll grease a pig. I know this man because he follows me to the grocery store. Whenever I turn my head, he takes the beef products out of my car and puts them back in the freezer. "Those are my lovers," he says. This bestiality case isn't like the others. This bestiality case is weird. He's convinced that, in a former life, I butchered and ate the beasts of his harem. I once invited him over for dinner to talk about it. I served him pasta. Each time he sucked a strand of spaghetti through the gap in his front teeth, I pondered the utility of worms.



Matt Ryan responds to art, economics, and Country Music not paying him for his poems.