The Barefoot Poet

Matthew J. Lawler

I’m the barefoot poet from the barefoot city,
I have laid languishing at the bottom of staircases
cluttered with litter, liquor bottles, and leaves.
My tongue reaching out of my body like the spirit
within reaching for the eternal bliss of unknowing.

I have drunk the nectar of nothingness,
While hoping to glimpse time, paralyzed
like my body bonding with concrete.
I’m barefoot and broken.
All for cheap forgetting.

I’m the barefoot poet from the barefoot city,
I have laid upon odorless leaves
in clouds of soberless unknowing,
While knowing time
is drifting, undressing my breath.

The moment a poet is born in the rubble.
Wet leaves resting against bare feet.

I have journeyed to dark places,
The bottom of staircases,
All for cheap forgetting.

I have loved a man.
Platonic chords played tunes of remembrance.
Why am I barefoot?
I have loved a man, but never told him
his habits were bad.
The ground feels this burden,
The cold concrete has no sympathy.
I am barefoot and I am a


Matthew J. Lawler is a Chicago native. He was raised on the Northwest side of the city(Irving Park neighborhood) His writing is a unique blend of narrative and philosophical thought. He has been writing poetry since his teenage years, but only recently began to submit his work to literary journals. He is published in the People’s Tribune, Visual Verse, Unlost journal and Caravel Literary Arts Journal. You can find him and like him on

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