Matthew Hittinger (born June 1, 1978) is an American poet and writer. Matthew Hittinger was born and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, not far from the grave of H.D., and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Art History and English from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 2000, and his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2004. He is the author of the poetry collection Skin Shift, which earned him a 2012 Debut Poet nod from Poets & Writers Magazine, and three chapbooks including Pear Slip, winner of the Spire Press 2006 Chapbook Award. Shortlisted for the National Poetry Series, the New Issues Poetry Prize, and twice for the Walt Whitman Award, Matthew's honors include a Hopwood Award and The Helen S. and John Wagner Prize from the University of Michigan, the Kay Deeter Award from the journal Fine Madness, two Sundress Best of the Net nominations, and eleven Pushcart Prize nominations. His work has appeared on Verse Daily and in over fifty journals including American Letters & Commentary, Barn Owl Review, Center, Crazyhorse, DIAGRAM, Dusie, Michigan Quarterly Review, Phoebe, StepAway Magazine and elsewhere, including a feature in Blue Fifth Review, the cover feature for the December 2008 MiPOesias, and in many anthologies including Best New Poets 2005, Ganymede Poets, One, Villanelles, Divining Divas: 100 Gay Poets on the Women Who Inspire Them, A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poems, The Rumpus Original Poetry Anthology, and Love Rise Up: Poems of Social Justice, Protest and Hope. A collaborative artist, Hittinger has worked on a number of projects with artists in other disciplines, including the Canadian painter Kristy Gordon, the American painter Judith Peck, Chicago-based composer Randall West, and New York City-based composer John Glover. Glover's art song setting of Hittinger's poem "8:46 A.M., Five Years Later" was included in the Five Boroughs Music Festival's Five Borough Songbook (2012). Hittinger currently resides in New York City.)
I Am Not A Myth
Marlene Dietrich remembers the night of the Marilyn Monroe
Productions press conference, New York City, January 1955
I wanted to be that trace of scarlet lipstick
when you arrived, tipsy, a bit chartreuse
a subdued platinum angel, a white mink
stole. I am at heart—Come up for a drink—
a gentleman. You, a question here to seduce,
a pink thought traced by scarlet lipstick
a deer drawn to a salt lick. I am the brick-
back, brick-thrown widow of a caboose.
I lift my black veil. I drop my black mink.
To the bird, flown—we toast with a clink.
You created '‘the girl.' "Their golden goose
is now a scarlet smudge." Your lips stick
to the wine glass and all I can do is wink
out a song, the tricks of an aging chanteuse.
You call a cab and grab your white mink
while I play my saw, and all I can think
is I am not a myth a recluse who will recuse
you to remain a trace of scarlet lipstick
caught on the collar of a white mink.