‘On the Rocks’ by Matt Miller (an essay)

Illustration by Lara O’Dell, from The Rumpus

I had taken off on a steep backside break and popped up to my feet on my little yellow-and-blue four-finned fish. It was about eight o’clock on a New Hampshire evening. The sun was low, throwing a harsh and bright orange light that shot between the cottages and onto the beach where the last of the sunbathers were nothing more than sunspot silhouettes dancing and running or just standing on the sand. I could not look up for being blinded in the glare as I glided across the face of the wave. I certainly didn’t see the rocks just starting to be covered up by the dark water and shadows of the incoming tide.

Award-winning poet Matt Miller has an essay in the new issue of “The Rumpus,” an online publication with writing, graphics, and more. Some of our readers know Matt as a Lowell High School graduate who played football at Yale University and later earned a master’s degree in creative writing at Emerson College. He was a Wallace Stegner writing fellow at Stanford University. He teaches at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Last year, Matt won a national literary prize for the publication of his second book of poems, “Club Icarus” (University of North Texas Press).

The setting for his new essay is the seacoast of New Hampshire, the ocean, really.

Read “On the Rocks” here.

Matt W. Miller