‘The Beauty of a Nail’ by Matt Miller

This poem is from Matt Miller’s new prize-winning collection of poems called “Club Icarus,” published by the University of North Texas Press. Matt is a Lowell High School graduate who earned degrees at Yale University, where he also played varsity football, and Emerson College. He teaches English and coaches football at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Matt will be at the 2nd Annual Lowell Writers and Publishers Winter Roundup at the Old Court Irish pub on Saturday, Feb. 23, 12.30 to 4 p.m., with copies of his book to sign and sell. This is his second book, following “Cameo Diner.” The critics are already saying that “Club Icarus” is stunning, tenacious, gritty, beautiful, down-to-earth, luminous, and visceral. If you cannot wait, you can order the book from amazon.com here.– PM


The Beauty of a Nail


hangs on it being

unseen as when

it suspends a

painting or some

caught on camera

moment on a plain wall

or the way within

the wall it holds up

the house, the pipes,

the unrolled

insulation or even

when somewhat seen

as when it holds a man

up to martyrdom—

always it is the tool,

not the meaning.


—Matt Miller (c) 2013