Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mather Schneider's Drought Resistant Strain

Published by Interior Noise Press in Austin, Texas in 2010, Mather Schneider’s full-length collection of poems in Drought Resistant Strain are straightforward and honest. The poems discuss everything from the hot, Tuscan sun to the mortality of the poet’s loved ones, below I am happy to share a few poems:

Old Timers

My grandparents
are getting old.
They stopped sleeping
in the same bed
a long time ago.
I don’t know
if they are still in love
or if they
ever were.
You get the feeling they’re
beyond all that.
Each morning
whoever wakes up first
gets out of bed
and shuffles across the house
to see if the other
is still alive
before starting the

I like this poem because I can see this elderly pair taking turns shuffling down the hallway. The mystery of whether they are still in love still enshrouds a sentimental turn that they care enough to check up on the other one before starting the coffee. Also, you can’t help but wonder if they would brew enough coffee for just one cup before calling family if they did discover their other half had passed away.

Our Tin Roof

The squirrels ran around up there
like crazy step-brothers scraping their nails
on the inside of an attic door.
Birds straddled the peak,
their delicate steps
an itch you couldn’t scratch.
Even snakes got up there—
someone rubbing calloused hands together
far above us.
In autumn leaves fell on our tin roof,
little bat-wing whispers
brushing your skin,
and the acorns were thrown
from the macabre
parade float oaks.
Rain became music
that would drown you,
and snow was like being buried alive:
it piled up and made a sound
like the earth itself moving.
The wind was the worst,
the way it howled and tore
at the ragged tongues,
the way it found and infected each
new crack,
the way it taught us
to raise our voices
louder and louder.

This poem reminds me of the houses down here in Florida, most cracker style homes have the tin roof and its occupants always describe how much they love listening to the rain. Mr. Schneider’s poems bring these sounds to life for me since I have not had the opportunity to experience them often and I enjoyed imagining the sounds of snow, rain, and squirrels.


Dwayne invents a perpetual motion machine
while servicing the physics room.
He’s a janitor at the college.
He studies the numbers abandoned
on the blackboard
before erasing them
like a human windshield wiper.
His idea: an immortal generator
with unlimited,
unpolluting energy.
No more killing each other,
no more working two jobs,
no more worrying all the time…
It’s simple, all he needs is an ocean
and gravity.
There’s only one problem:
with no reason to struggle
the human race would deteriorate.
So Dwayne has vowed never to reveal
the details of his creation.
It will die with him, unspoken.
He has saved mankind.

This is an intriguing story to me which I enjoyed very much. You can’t help but wonder what this man discovered that we’ll never know and how often things like this might be happening where one understated genius keeps silent to save us from ourselves.

If you enjoyed this sample, you may purchase a copy of Drought Resistant Strain by Mather Schneider from Interior Noise Press for $15.00 by visiting the link below:


Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found By Poet Hound…


Jim Murdoch said...

Yeah, I like this fellow a lot especially that first poem. It fools you into thinking it's a simple poem but it's really quite profound. The same goes for 'Dwayne' - great name too.

mather said...

Thanks Paula for posting and thanks Jim for the compliment.

Poet Hound said...

I'm glad you enjoyed these!

Mr. Schneider,
You are welcome!