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Black tourmaline and Holographic: poems by Matt Metzler


"Black tourmaline and Holographic" is my second collection of poetry. It includes sixteen poems. This is a hand-made book that measures 5" x 4" and contains 32 pages (a couple of them intentionally blank). These are short poems, and won't take longer than ten or fifteen minutes to read.

"Black tourmaline and Holographic" is the first work I've felt like sharing since 2014. I like to think of my self-published writing, in particular its physical end-product, as being inspired by how my favorite bands design and package their records. This collection is like an album on vinyl, or a cassette; it has a Side A and a Side B. The eight poems that make up "Black tourmaline" come from 2014-16, when I lived in Oxford, Ohio and took my first teaching job, falling in love with the career I thought I'd lost interest in, watching how the other parts of my identity began to morph and change now that my college-life bubble had broken open. I wrote the eight poems that make up "Holographic" between 2018-19, living in Bloomington, Indiana, still teaching, but feeling transitional in much of my life, trying to let go of the baggage that I brought with me from Oxford, learning how to be comfortable in solitude, spending lots of evenings in the IU Cinema discovering film history, and tinkering with my poems to try to make them as visual as movies themselves. As a whole, this collection is about teaching, about selves, about homes, about dreams (literally more than figuratively), about desires, and about devotion.