10,000 Wallpapers by Matt Shears

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  • Matt-Shears

Matt Shears’ chapbook of poems, 10,000 Wallpapers, is a phenomenal genre-hopping hybrid work. It’s fun, experimental, mythic, mealy-mouthed and unprotected. Sonically, it’s flabbergasting, but never flabby. Thematically it’s indefinable but refined, self-reflexive and aware but awkward as a first kiss, or a first kill. It operates almost as a misheard fable traveling from ice age to Ave C, a place where Masque meets Western, where the Renaissance slips into its finest Greek to watch a dreamy commedia dell’arte production. It’s a place where heroes come unhinged, their singing severed from our fullest judgment by lost or destroyed pages, or who perhaps are being unsung themselves by a culture separating itself at its seams. In the end it’s a joyride. Or an open letter to a mastodon from an endangered element. Or each of us, emptied on an open page like some beautiful thing.

10,000 Wallpapers
by Matt Shears

Pub Date: December 20, 2011
40 pages
ISBN: 9781936767038

Cover Art by Aaron Sing Fox



If you prefer, you can order this book through your local bookstore. Doing this will help BAP grow in your community.

This is very unusual collection of poems, a formidable departure from the nation’s workshops. The rhythms and cadences of these Alter(n)ations imitate and celebrate the life forms that inhabit our lives. I take Matt Shears’ work seriously and with respect.

Alex Kuo, author of The Man Who Dammed the Yangtze

Matt Shears invents new worlds in 10,000 Wallpapers. This long lyric is full of brute terror and bucolic beauty, exploring individual consciousness unmoored by our present “thundering interconnectivity”; 10,000 Wallpapers chronicles “the everyman meandering through this digitized countryside,” questioning how we can truly inhabit the world when reality has become denatured by the image. The speaker in this poem sings like Prufrock, in a lyric that is searing and true, as he searches for the possibilities of pure utterance and perception amidst what is manufactured.

Cathy Park Hong, author of Engine Empire

Amidst a rural landscape bombarded with technology and the aftermath of history (both real and imagined), Shears creates poems of wonder and wandering, poems of longing and regret. Tidbits of mythology collide with folksongs and lullabies to create a fantastic place where “the Poem arises beauteous” yet “false projects glitter in the wind.” In these poems, bits and pieces of broken things do not add up to or equal their whole. Shears’ range of voice and unpredictable grace provide an exquisite backbone to the time/place/space that encompasses this vibrant collection.

Megan Johnson, author of The Waiting

Review from Zoland Poetry
Review from decomP

mchtnchts : The Spoiled West and its Freshly Minted Infants :: Already Dead (2014) – Analog electronic music used from text of 10,000 Wallpapers by Kyle Bruckman & Lance Grabmiller.

Matt-ShearsMatt Shears is the author of Where a road had been (BlazeVOX, 2010). He lives in Oakland, California with his family. More work can be found on his website: tidingsofmagpies.wordpress.com

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from Alter(n)ations #30


& so my figurations filled with mythic animals
& that golf course just went on forever
(so trim, so green)
spread out underneath the drawl of that Sunday morning quarterback
with his leftover sausages and his pedagogical horses
inflamed, in stride, so frothy—
O passion!
What miseries await the hackneyed,
the Everymen meandering through this digitized countryside,
codes assembling their brains from spectacular stimuli?


from Alter(n)ations #31


Dear Mastodon:

Have rappelled down the Northface
of the Planopticon.
Looking forward to sharing a Promethean fire with you
in the Earlymonth,
in the ontological necessity
of our selective defection.
May our ice crystals prism the idea of Prehistory,
May the waters ever shapeshift.

In turbulence, I remain,

Thy Endangered Element