Matthew Burnside

This Poem Is A Legitimate Threat

So the holy ghost says to me: you gonna eat that Pop tart, bro?
So I says to the holy ghost: Fuck Yes I’m going to eat this Pop tart,
bro, for it is S’mores. Don’t ask me questions with easy answers.

I was not always so lonely. I once had imaginary friends who wore
imaginary fanny packs full of imaginary vitamins & squirted me with
imaginary water pistols while I masturbated into some nameless vortex.
A typical childhood.

As a teenager I drove cool cars, like a Taurus. I wore cool clothes, like
pastel galoshes & sweet sweater vests. I brought my Pogs to all the
football games, sat under the bleachers wondering what new slammers
I might acquire the following week.

When cheerleaders would ask me why I was sitting under the bleachers
I would say things like: You don’t own me, or, Just looking for crystals
& shit, you know how we do.

My grandma was the coolest. She could make a mean cup of coffee, even
though I don’t drink coffee. I dreamed one day I might be an astronaut,
but when I learned it involved going to space I changed my mind.

I’ve always been afraid of space. Space zombies are a legitimate threat.

If I could learn one instrument, it would be the Lazitar, but since that
hasn’t been invented yet I’ll settle for the Synthesizer.

My first girlfriend let me touch her left tit. She was the love of my life.
She’s married now & that’s ok. I wonder if her husband knows I once
touched her tit.

I never defeated The Adventures of Bayou Billy on NES. It’s not even
that hard to kill people in real life. If you punch a man 38 times in the
face, he’s bound to fall down. If you stab him 20 times his blood will
probably run out.

Sometimes I decide halfway through a shower that I’d rather have a bath,
so I just sit down, but it’s not the same.

My favorite bible story is the one where Jesus does magic tricks.

My favorite action figure is Dash Rendar because his pistol is the coolest.

Here’s a rap: dj dippin’ dots all up in your freezer / makin’ popsicles, sick
poppin’ pizzles / like TicTacs & Pez / trippin’ big balls on BigRed /on the run
from the Feds / for scarin’ a nun / with my blowgun. This concludes my rap.

It’s hard to beat a good candy bar, even though the shitty ones are really
shitty. Shitty candy bars are a legitimate threat.

The most beautiful thing about a girl is the look on her face when she is
actually looking at me & not singing that one song by Seal. That song
confuses me because roses don’t kiss.

My favorite cloud has to be cumulonimbus.

According to my brother you shouldn’t wear socks with sandals because
that kind of thing won’t get chicks on your Chick-O-Stick.

All I want is a girl who lets me wear my power glove to bed.

Funk is my favorite music to roller blade to. I can do some sick jumps.

Don’t tell my parents I’m a poet. They won’t understand the profoundness
of my words.

Sometimes I like to put hangers all over my body & pretend I’m Hanger

I wouldn’t do anything for a Klondike Bar.

At my funeral I invite you to BYOB(ible).

I dedicate this to the babysitter who dared me to jump on a trampoline while
wearing Moon Shoes. You were right all along: You can’t grow up to be a


Matthew Burnside’s work has appeared most recently or is forthcoming in >kill author, Gargoyle, PANK, Juked, elimae, Contrary, Pear Noir!, decomP, NAP, and Danse Macabre, among others. He is managing editor of Mixed Fruit, an online literary magazine. Beginning in the fall, he will be an MFA fiction candidate at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.