Nicole Matos is a Chicago-based writer, professor, retired roller derby skater, and special needs mom. Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, The Rumpus, Quiddity, Salon, XOJane, The Classical, theNewerYork, The Atticus Review, The Hairpin, Chicago Literati, and many others. She has written about higher education for The Chronicle of Higher Education Vitae, Inside Higher Ed, and Pedagogy Unbound, and about special needs parenting for Hip Mama, Full Grown People, Brain Mother, and Monday Coffee. Her first chapbook of poetry, Oxidane (2014: Blazevox Books) has been described as “an intimate, unapologetic conversation ‘like chess by mail’ that sneaks up and stuns us.” Her second chapbook of poetry, The Astronaut’s Apprentice, is forthcoming with Dancing Girl Press. Follow her on Twitter at @nicole_matos2.
Nicole Matos talks about form in Oxidane.
An Oxidane Mashup
By Nicole Matos
“I think she is a feral child.” This was the end result of our investigations.
No shame in that. Some people get made on purpose
their parents taking temperatures and tests
all in the service of getting them here
while the rest of us are born without a meaningful sequence.
The units that made us just bobbling around, shimmering in and out of focus.
Driving a car, eating corn on the cob.
Crying for unknown reasons late at night.
Smelling like successively different colognes.
Patting, once in a while, surprisingly, our arms.
We followed you home, just to be sure nobody had made you, nobody important.
To be sure you were available to be made by us.
All we needed, then, was consent.
And it came, it came slowly, coming alive is terrible;
don’t let anyone tell you different.
But the consent you gave was complete
it was continuous
it lasted through everything we needed to do.
[This poem was originally published by Tapestry and appears in Oxidane (Blazvox Books, 2014).]
Nicole Matos talks about how to put together a collection.
[Oxidane was published by Blazevox Books in 2014.]
Develop a creation myth for yourself or another character and share this myth in your poem.
Take your grouping of poems and see if you can put them into an order that develops a narrative for readers.