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Gretchen Mattox

Gretchen Mattox

Gretchen Mattox has been a fellow at the Edward Albee Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo, as well as an instructor at The New School for Social Research, Antioch University, and Loyola Marymount University. She has lived in numerous places, including Denver, Provincetown, and New York City, and currently resides in Santa Monica, California. Her third poetry collection, The Flower Compass Sutras, is forthcoming.

Also by Gretchen Mattox


Buddha Box

Buddha BoxBuddha Box

$14.00 paper | 67 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-930974-42-5
Publication Date: April 2004
Buy: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | ShopWMU | UPNE

Winner of the 2003 Green Rose Prize

"As subversive in its simplicity as any truly American Buddhism, or as any truly feminine anything, the poetry in Buddha Box is both radical and beautiful; both unflinching and consoling . . . Gretchen Mattox is absolutely original in her strategy of bringing Zen mind to the down-and-out human landscape of West Los Angeles. Her resulting discoveries are quite often simply brilliant. Buddha Box is filled with light."
        —Gail Wronsky

"'All fire, ready to take and not worry if it offends,’ writes Gretchen Mattox in this Zen-supple, hungrily-burning collection of poems. This is LA, this is the Buddha Box, these are the lineaments of joy and detachment set, raging jewel in lotus, before us. Pink skies, astral bodies, saguaros, gas stations, love, grief—all the desperate and divine details appear in order to disappear, as they are masterfully chanted in this extraordinary voice."
        —Carol Muske-Dukes


Unicorn Chinese Restaurant, Men Smoking

Out back in the alley two Chinese men in aprons and uniform hats
—white folded like newspaper boats—

light up by the trash bins off Lincoln, their cigarettes flash white
in an otherwise dim scape

greasy smells won ton something or other and all the other social ills
maybe it’s good luck to go on hoping

how the dream of a better life stays buoyant like empty boats
          docked at the Marina
stumped as a child—how could anything so heavy float?

going through the day to day like that now

carried in spite of ourselves because we are human
and do not understand the meaning of grace

the passing glance of a lifetime streaked light in the ether