the discovery

Poetry written in the rhythms of everyday life

After you read Matthew Welton’s most recent collection, “The Number Poems’’ (Carcanet), the rhythm of the pieces pulses in your steps. It’s because of cadences like this: “how it is the static unemphatic fit/ of word and sound and sound and thought and thought and word/ says more about the language than the language could.” His subjects embrace simple things: kitchens, coffee, what’s said, what’s heard, what’s meant. A deceptive simplicity marks lines like these: “Our shadows/ ride home on/ the shadows of our bikes.” In a section called “Melodies for the Meanwhile,” patterns, phrases, and images repeat over a number of poems. Three, for instance, have lines that begin “The mornings the haze makes’’ and end with: “our movements feel unmappable,’’ “our memories feel inflexible,’’ “our intentions feel intractable.’’ The effect is reminiscent of our passing days: each much the same, with variations that sometimes have the power to alter everything.