Photography © Jennifer Matthews


After the Show

we make something
out of nothing
It’s easy
Bass drums guitar
The words live stream
like video cameras
Here’s a song
Here’s a poem
Or maybe
just a moment
But it’s a good moment
The audience smiles
The band’s happy
It’s almost as intimate
as my living room sofa,
late at night

Late at night,
after the show
after the people
and the noise
and the music
Shades open
onto the moon
and the river
No conversation
Whiskey bottle
on the table,
two shot glasses
lean back
against the leopard
Make a little something
out of the nothing.


Puma Perl is a poet, writer, performer, and producer. She’s the author of two chapbooks, Ruby True and Belinda and Her Friends, and three full-length poetry collections, knuckle tattoos, Retrograde (great weather for MEDIA), and Birthdays Before and After (Beyond Baroque Books.) She was the creator, curator, and host of Puma’s Pandemonium, which brings spoken word together with rock and roll. As Puma Perl and Friends, she’s performed regularly with a group of excellent musicians. She’s received three awards from the New York Press Association in recognition of her journalism and was the recipient of the 2016 Acker Award in the category of writing.

Poet/Photographer Jennifer Matthews’ poetry has been published in Nepal by Pen Himalaya and locally by the Wilderness Retreat Writers Organization, Midway Journal, The Somerville Times, Ibbetson Street Press and Boston Girl Guide. Jennifer was nominated for a poetry award by the Cambridge Arts Council for her book of Poetry Fairy Tales and Misdemeanors. Her songs have been released nationally and internationally and her photography has been used as covers for a number of Ibbetson Street Press poetry books and has been exhibited at The Middle East Restaurant, 1369 Coffeehouses, Sound Bites Restaurant in Somerville and McLean Hospital.