Matthew Dettmer

March 15, 2020

West · Gordon Square · Poetry

Last beer in a bar the one right by my place the end of 76th street before the shoreway they’re closing early tonight and will be for a while how long we’re not sure the bartender was talking about getting paid with one of the fry cooks about when they’d get their last checks and I honestly didn’t feel great most of the day from a late night and after I woke up I laid in bed for a while and then stumbled through a run my fifth of the week and now I’m sipping a brew listening to the way Cleveland people mention tragedy with a drink in hand cracking stale jokes about their lives collapsing, sounds surreal but these are browns fans who flood the streets in twenty degrees screaming with each other at a team that never wins people that realized a long time ago that maybe the definition of winning isn’t the same as everywhere else maybe winning is living and continuing to live and that sounds rudimentary but it’s true and a week old soccer game was on TV, people would look up at it sometimes forgetting what it was and I took a picture of the last beer and then twenty minutes later realized it wouldn’t be the last but the second to last one.

Matthew Dettmer

Matthew Dettmer is a physician living and working in Cleveland. He has been an active member of Literary Cleveland since 2018.


Neighborhood Voices is a city-wide creative writing project designed by Literary Cleveland and the Cleveland Public Library to engage writers across Cleveland, allowing residents to connect with neighbors, share stories of their community, and draft new writing about what makes their neighborhood unique.


Cleveland Public Library
325 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114

Project Created By Literary Cleveland

Literary Cleveland is a nonprofit organization and creative writing center that empowers people to explore other voices and discover their own. Through an expanding roster of multi-level classes, workshops and events, Literary Cleveland assists writers and readers at all stages of development, promotes new and existing literature of the highest quality, and advances Northeast Ohio as a vital center of diverse voices and visions.

Project Presented with Support By the Cleveland Public Library

Founded in 1869, Cleveland Public Library serves the residents of Cleveland through its network of 27 neighborhood branches, the Main Library downtown, Public Administration Library at City Hall, homebound delivery services, and mobile services to daycare and senior centers. From a collection of 10.5 million items, the Library lends over 5 million items a year to its 330,000 registered borrowers and to 43 other CLEVNET-member libraries in 12 counties across Northeast Ohio. Cleveland Public Library is home to the Ohio Center for the Book and the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, serving all 88 counties in the state of Ohio. For more information, visit