The game by matthew ussia

Ten Most Read Poets @ North of Oxford 2022

Ten most read poets as determined by the readership of North of Oxford for 2022

Manasi Diwakar

How Dreams Grow by Manasi Diwakar


Layers of Blankets by Doug Holder

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Pandemic of Violence Anthology II – Poets Speak

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The Ballad of Morbid and Putrid By Sawyer Lovett

Topsy Turvy

Pandemic of Violence Anthology I – Poets Speak


Sisson’s by Eric D. Goodman


High Stakes by Ryan Quinn Flanagan


Two Poems by Susana H. Case


The Game by Matthew Ussia

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Two Poems by Kerry Trautman





The Game by Matthew Ussia

The Game
Late spring day at the friar’s cemetery
I walked down to see old friends
from my college days buried
in rows of identical graves
brothers in Christ who all failed
to get me to follow them in faith
Perhaps I was their token nontheist
friend for keeping piety honest or
thought they were playing a long game
confident of my long walk towards salvation
Father Tom always told me
doubt is just a natural phase
These bodies who never knew
the sanctuary of other bodies
lay under my feet, victory uncertain
what final thoughts at the end
of lives dedicated to opening a door
that turned out to be a wall
An ending of absolute despair
before the relief of dreamless sleep
the rest of my life knowing
it’s only a matter of time before
the big reveal of which one of us was wrong
Matthew Ussia is a professor, editor, podcaster, thereminist, writer, softcore punk, social media burnout, and all-around sentient organic matter.  His first book of poetry The Red Glass Cat, was published in 2021.   His writings have appeared in Mister Rogers and Philosophy, Winedrunk Sidewalk, Future Humans in Fiction and Film, North of Oxford, Trailer Park Quarterly, Anti-Heroin Chic, and The Open Mic of the Air Podcast among others. He lives in Pittsburgh.   More info can be found at