in 1959, there was this diner.  it was open and empty.  it was so late, old men with dirt under their fingernails were coming in and ordering breakfast.  
maybe this isn’t 1959, but it feels like 1959.  it feels authentic.  these old men know each other, and know the waitress.  i know that if i began talking to these people, they would not like me, and i would not like them.  but at this hour, none of us care.  we just want eggs and bacon and coffee, so we are polite, and we squeeze our cheeks into the shapes of smiles.
i am waiting for you.  killing time in places time forgot about, places with no wi-fi internet or cnn or digital anything.  cash only.  in pictures, everything is black and white, but right now, everything is beige and chrome and vinyl.  cracked vinyl.  old dirty greasy vinyl that sometimes is the exact feeling you need under the skin on the inside of your arm.  which makes me think of the skin on the inside of your arm.  which makes me sad that i care about the skin in the inside of your arm.  sad that i know what it looks like.  sad that i will never know what it tastes like.  sad that i want to know what it tastes like.
how does this happen?  
how do i end up here, waiting for you, knowing you would never like this place?
it’s time to go.  i can’t bear to see the sun rise.  i want to be asleep before the edge of the sky gets pale.
i will never step foot in here again, even though i’d very much like to.  
i am fluent in this diner’s silent, wordless language.  it has touched the skin on the inside of my arm; it knows me better than you.
the bell jingles on my way out.

-matt specht
** from: bending light into verse|every picture tells a story - by Jen Tomaloff

in 1959, there was this diner.  it was open and empty.  it was so late, old men with dirt under their fingernails were coming in and ordering breakfast.  

maybe this isn’t 1959, but it feels like 1959.  it feels authentic.  these old men know each other, and know the waitress.  i know that if i began talking to these people, they would not like me, and i would not like them.  but at this hour, none of us care.  we just want eggs and bacon and coffee, so we are polite, and we squeeze our cheeks into the shapes of smiles.

i am waiting for you.  killing time in places time forgot about, places with no wi-fi internet or cnn or digital anything.  cash only.  in pictures, everything is black and white, but right now, everything is beige and chrome and vinyl.  cracked vinyl.  old dirty greasy vinyl that sometimes is the exact feeling you need under the skin on the inside of your arm.  which makes me think of the skin on the inside of your arm.  which makes me sad that i care about the skin in the inside of your arm.  sad that i know what it looks like.  sad that i will never know what it tastes like.  sad that i want to know what it tastes like.

how does this happen?  

how do i end up here, waiting for you, knowing you would never like this place?

it’s time to go.  i can’t bear to see the sun rise.  i want to be asleep before the edge of the sky gets pale.

i will never step foot in here again, even though i’d very much like to.  

i am fluent in this diner’s silent, wordless language.  it has touched the skin on the inside of my arm; it knows me better than you.

the bell jingles on my way out.

-matt specht

** from: bending light into verse|every picture tells a story - by Jen Tomaloff

i dream in black and white, you knowi dream of trying to run in waist-deep wateri dream of punching enemies with all my strength but nothing happensi dream of wet hidden warm places surrounded by soft skin and gratitudei dream of the end of the world (i have a bag of chips, my wits, and a towel armed thusly, my dear, we are safe)i dream of newspapers as wallpaper yellowed from the effort it took to tell me the president is deadand the drive-thru lady knows i’m on the floor of the front seatand the woods are NOT lovely, dark OR deepthey are rotten and wetand would not burn even if you doused them in gasoline lit a match tossed it inwalked away andwaited for the warmthand when i dream the dream where i fall from great heightsi wake up wondering
if i survived
-matt specht
** from: bending light into verse|every picture tells a story - by Jen Tomaloff

i dream in black and white, you know
i dream of trying to run in waist-deep water
i dream of punching enemies with all my strength but nothing happens
i dream of wet hidden warm places surrounded by soft skin and gratitude
i dream of the end of the world
(i have a bag of chips, my wits, and a towel
armed thusly, my dear, we are safe)
i dream of newspapers as wallpaper yellowed from the effort it took to tell me 
the president is dead
and the drive-thru lady knows i’m on the floor of the front seat
and the woods are NOT lovely, dark OR deep
they are rotten 
and wet
and would not burn even if you doused them in gasoline 
lit a match 
tossed it in
walked away and
waited for the warmth
and when i dream the dream where i fall from great heights
i wake up
 
wondering


if i survived


-matt specht

** from: bending light into verse|every picture tells a story - by Jen Tomaloff

there is a shackin the woodsit is summerthere is preachingit is hotit is a saturday nightthere is no dancingbut there is joybut it is forcedand i can feel that piano’s painknowing there is a creek down the waywhere a girl offered me her footand her brother said okand i laughedwe all laughed and she took my pictureand wrote me a letterand i didn’t understand it allbut i took it all intook it at face valuelet it wash over me like warm creek water that made her toes and ankles and knees look like something out of the magazines my dad thought he had hidden under the stairswe were kidsand we were meant to learn things in creeks and under stairsnot in pewsand like the piano in the corneri couldn’t wait for someone to come pay attention to meso we could whisper secrets while no one was lookinggod is just a speed bump placed in the path of every summer weekendi can feel that piano’s pain-matt specht

** from: bending light into verse|every picture tells a story - by Jen Tomaloff

there is a shack
in the woods
it is summer
there is preaching
it is hot
it is a saturday night
there is no dancing
but there is joy
but it is forced
and i can feel that piano’s pain

knowing there is a creek down the way
where a girl offered me her foot
and her brother said ok
and i laughed
we all laughed
and she took my picture
and wrote me a letter
and i didn’t understand it all
but i took it all in
took it at face value
let it wash over me like warm creek water that made her toes and ankles and knees look like
something out of the magazines my dad thought he had hidden under the stairs

we were kids
and we were meant to learn things
in creeks and under stairs
not in pews
and like the piano in the corner
i couldn’t wait for someone to come pay attention to me
so we could whisper secrets while no one was looking

god is just a speed bump
placed in the path of every summer weekend


i can feel that piano’s pain

-matt specht

** from: bending light into verse|every picture tells a story - by Jen Tomaloff

bending light into verse.

GOOD NEWS!!! My new book is officially available.Bending Light into Verse" is a collection of my photography, featuring poetry/writing from some of my favorite writers.

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1138785

This book began as a simple photo book with an experimental side and the idea that every picture tells a story, or at least should. The experimental side entailed sending each of the writers included in this book a series of photographs, with the intent that they might write a short piece inspired in some way by each of the photos they were assigned. Every one of the writers included here gladly rose to the opportunity and far exceeded all expectations; every photograph was returned, each picture telling its story.

Contributors: Nicholas Michael Ravnikar, Ed Makowski, David Tomaloff, Matt Specht, Dana Roders, Jenny Bootle, Lisa Adamowicz Kless, and Nick Demske.