Matthew Ussia

What We Have is a Whole Miserable Subculture

is a quote from Style Wars
a response to a son’s desire
to go all city, to be a sick burner
in the face of a new gravity
whose lexicon she does not understand

I think about that mom sometimes
like at that show in the Piss Tunnel
after I stepped in a pile
of week-old spaghetti
The Fuckin’ Lovers raging
punks trying to mosh
in an abandoned pedestrian tunnel
turned public urinal and temporary punk venue
traffic rushing overhead

we’re all someone’s child down here
born and nurtured, a new hope
our mothers probably wondering where we are
and what we are up to right now


Matthew Ussia is director of Duquesne University’s First Year Writing Program in spite of the fact that he got a C- in freshman writing and was rejected from Duquesne’s MA program.  He is also an editor, podcaster, post-doom thereminist, softcore punk, postpunk backup singer, social media burnout, and sentient organic matter.  His first book, The Red Glass Cat, was published by Alien Buddha Press in 2021. His writings have appeared in Mister Rogers and Philosophy, 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.