Off Brand Geometry

by Matthew Morgan Issue: Spring/Summer 2019

My mind, this slave to symmetry,

finds meaning in all the wrong geometry.

Pareidolia: the water hose is a snake.

Pareidolia: a child’s face impressed in cypress grain.

Pareidolia: my friend Mark says that the man

in the moon is a NASA stooge—that the earth

                                          is flat and getting flatter.


He once yelled at me over the phone,

all the way from the frozen Yukon oil fields.

This was love, for him, to save a sad globe-lover,

to grab me by my ears and howl, look you fool.

                                                You can see it all from here.


"Off Brand Geometry" is the opening poem of a larger project, Howling at a Flat Earth, which is an exploration of conspiracy theories and cognitive distortions. The collection was born shortly after a lifelong friend, in his words, “came out” as a flat-earther.

Matthew Morgan

Matthew Morgan, originally from Mississippi, now lives in frigid Kalamazoo, Michigan (yes, it’s a real place), where he teaches college freshman at Western Michigan University what thesis sentences are. He is a recent graduate of the WMU MFA-Creative Writing Program and is now working on his first collection of poetry.