Matt Hart

BlazeVOX [books] Buffalo, New York

LIGHT-HEADED by Matt Hart Copyright © 2010 Published by BlazeVOX [books] All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission, except for brief quotations in reviews. Printed in the United States of America Book design by Geoffrey Gatza Cover art by Ken Henson Printer's ornament by Eric Appleby First Edition ISBN: 978-1-60964-013-2 Library of Congress Control Number 2010907778 BlazeVOX [books] 303 Bedford Ave Buffalo, NY 14216

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At random in our bodies, this backyard swimming; the blue water blue in relation to the heavens, which echo without being, and so blown out of proportion. Our time on this planet is a baseball bat, a hollowed-out log, the scaffolding of a ballerina–all very different things–though all of them hits. And now I am brittle with thingness, with coming to conclusions and forgetting all existence: the couch in the dark, being on it. Epistemology irks me, so I swim in not knowing, even in the clearing and the clearly where it hurts me, the suffering of ever more miniscule beings: the hawk flying into the building–and I don’t mean


inside, I mean into the perimeter, glass shatter, stupid pigeon! Plug in and proceed through each statement’s truth value: once again mistaken for small children at the zoo, maybe this is autobiographical. Or maybe it’s you hauled out of the drinking, alphabet gasping in a sunlight of butter…too much amplifier as I tickle my daughter… Nobody gets away from anguish. The question is always what to do with one’s hands.



1. This plunked-down, this fire in the hole. Evan calls from Clay, and I should answer. The roses in their starry loam. Who can tell what tomorrow will throw up upon us like a vomiting dog or baby? A hawk carrying a squirrel eye-level through the air. This first attempt at nomenClatter at moving the heavens around– Or packing them up in a box of clean… Faces like sheets in the early morning. This is all I have–perhaps all I’ll ever have. Light-weight sure, but these are my poems, which really are like the poems of so many others. Once I knew a doctor. Is it broken?


2. But of course, it isn’t nearly near enough– not Leda and the Swan in Jane Carver’s bathtub, not my spine is a shipwreck, but beautiful anyway and to taste. What else really can be particularly, accurately stated other than my love for you and you and you and postage stamps? The end of the road by the mailbox beneath the sad and gnarled maple tree, the hawk I keep seeing and its mate swooping down and down and down, shredding a rodent, only to return to its nest in the spires Of Cincinnati. O Nature, or big God swooning, this time I’ll be the pleasure, the music.


3. Light-weight sure, but these are my poems. A lot we talk about Sara and California– not dreaming, but rather the real thing, the beauty and heat of it. The hawks in her hair, the love of Apollinaire, and somebody comes across the dazzling dance floor dazzling, speaking in a breathy voice as if speaking of ghosts in Italian. Right through that door downstairs my friend’s mother undid herself, I mean, she died. Thank goodness for all the life as an antidote around us, and California that faraway place like a golden shipwreck waiting to fall into the sea or ascend to the marvels of the cloud-b(l)ank (fill-in) the sky.


4. The end of the road by the mailbox… And the hawk swooping down, down and down. My friend Brett says, “rhinoceros,” and the world claps its dainty hands together, because the world is a girl and full-flowing atop the mountain he has made in his mind. I find there any number of good things gooder. O Nature, you time bomb, which is to say, the seasons thus exploded blow up our clocks and everybody ducks for cover or dons a fur bathing suit, or mindful-full bright bellies of stars. All of it stolen (lovingly) from the mouths of babies–and certainly Brett doesn’t mean babies, he means rhinoceros, or dances his ass off with charm. The world is a boy or a girl.


5. My dream a dream of Evan’s three oranges, of falling asleep in the king’s deep ear. What airy passage the music makes here and what fallen fruit is it singing? A cloud, a furnace, a burning balloon. I mention West Hollywood, a coal mine explosion. Somewhere out there, Darcie Apocalypse, a name writ large on the fist of my heart, is teaching high school to the geniuses of our age. And why not? Even geniuses need to be taught about Beauty and Vision and the way things connect in spite of themselves. And us in our basements so sleeping like babies. Slowly she says it, “rhi-no-cer-os.”


6. Read thee again those sonnets. Copy and “copy as hard as you can.” So thinking more and more about Bewilderment, man. His poems of hilarious spirit and jive, man– which is not at all light-weight, but necessary, grave as the bottom of a boat which is see-through, and thus, like the very best dress you’ve ever witnessed in the world, which is a girl and darkness. But when Bewilderment shows up with a bundle of daisies and a bottle of wine and wants to cook shrimp risotto, you let him become the king of shrimp risotto and your destiny, and you do what he tells you like chopping green onions or crossing out the unnecessary final sentence because


7. Melanie drop-gorgeous, pregnant with pauses. Light-weight sure, but these are my poems. I have a hangover the size of your typist. I have a dream of three oranges A metal detector A burst of young blood in my morning of frost. O dear secretary call me a cab; I need to go forthwith to Paradise Lost. I need to consider my pocket discourses: this one on Kindness and this one on Verve, this one on Corso, the Roses of Shelley, Roses of Sharon. And this one of hawks beating-off on my car. How far will I go to become the next dagger? Who will co-sign for this loan on my soul?


8. Light-headed blue, the color of poems. My fits don’t fit the celebrity ball. Hippopotamus pin cushion, unnecessary sentence Hawks in her hair, the love of Apollinaire eye-level squirrel breaking in and breaking up. Falling fine is hard to do. Will’s on the roof, like Spiderman, dammit! comes down to say I don’t know you but so happy I could cry I often do… That faraway place like a golden shipwreck My friend’s mother A dream of three oranges Clatter at moving the heavens around– Or packing them up in a box of clean… Good things gooder Leda and the Swan


9. Go to hell wicked witches go to hell. What I really think: I’m stupid not vicious. Under the viscous streetlamps I walk, head up and quickly to my destination Roadblock. When my friends arrive, I’m dancing with a squirrel being torn apart by life. Saving me, and thus My wife so sweet she’s an orange. My friends so dear they’re in trouble sentimental. But forget it: every day–they’re okay. The real issue here is one of fear and fraidiness on the part of a certain, gin and tonic contingent. Unlucky familiar, what do you think? Pick any number between 12 and 14. Go to hell wicked witches go to hell.


10. Listening to a plane crash. Friday night wine flight–Pinot Noir, 2004. Pepperwood darling How is your heart? I have no idea. To me it smacks of wine. California purple. And suddenly, there she is again, hawks in her air “I know nothing anymore and…” Long live man! You fucking posers. “Tell me I don’t have a shadow.” I double-dog dare you. All the lights are out. I know how to kick. The “best of all possible worlds” is here somewhere, I can feel it on my lips, and also in trying to break my heart in a movie. What I really think: I’m stupid, not viscous.


11. Bare with me Truth. Exhortative light. This plunked-down, just one long breath. Mary Anne paints shoes in a long flowering line. “Boom!” says Captain Mike. America. Albino rhododendron. And this week the President said muckety-muck. None of us were happy. I thought it sucked. Even politicians need beauty, I sing. Look in the couch. Look in the soldier. Look in the shipwreck still sleeping the sky. Why on earth– My wife so sweet and friends so dear. The fiends leave pamphlets ’tween our glasses and doors. No wonder we do our share of drunk-drinking against them. That soldier at the turning point is already dead.


12. Mike Vallera Mike Vallera. Red Stripe Lager. Hippopotamus jumble. You call from Chicago and I should listen. It’s snowing. Sounds like a hawk made of paper on a string. The moon and stars. California dreaming Christopher Columbus: Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria. With any luck we’ll see each other in a new world soon. By “new world” I think I mean “better.” My advice is this: Love thy neighbor. It wasn’t my idea just a beautiful sonata. Whatever you do Leda and the Swan. Think sappy thoughts. Make pancakes for breakfast every morning.


13. Introducing Language Little late little never. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than silence. Lightweight sure As ever, “rhinoceros.” My friend Merrill says “Bike New York!” and then nothing (which is everything) happens. Box of clean Faces like sheets Ghosts and “Mote,” a song by Sonic Youth. I’d say everything’s coming together, dancing like three oranges on the head of a pin. The world is a girl, or a boy and a girl. One long breath. Mike Vallera. Blues and the dawn of a new Captain Marvel, America. This plunked-down, this holy I know you


14. This week the President Exhortative light. A hawk shreds a squirrel in the backyard, the meadow. I feel as though Metal detector Is it broken? The hawks The love. Who’s against me, besides everybody? Not impressed? Geniuses our age. Fucking posers. Gin and tonic contingent. Who asked you for your vicious? Who came down from your mount? Sleeping like babies Those unruly sonnets. Evan calls from Clay I should call back The roses My wife so dear. Love thy neighbor. I mention California but these are my poems. Here in Ohio it’s sunny and cold. Look in the soldier. Think sappy thoughts.