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Matt Hart





And the subplot fizzled like two white bulbs

in a safe house.  You were there,

I thought, or was it a trick of chipmunks?


Meddling neighbor?  Compound fracture?

Somebody picking the teeth out of a bite mark?

I said, Everyday in every way, I want to be weirder.


When Coleridge attacked the grizzly in the kitchen

it was only a movie—though clearly the fire

was actually in him.  The bear and the midnight,


the teeth where I kissed the little children

on the wall.  Two white bulbs

could mean nothing or a tulip.  My dreams


are pretty obvious, I told you on a dare,

and yours are the fear of a loneliness

forever, one that’s in your muscles


you can never put a brake on…

Back in the picture, you sounded

like an astronaut sleeping through winter,


an icicle dropping on the museum’s sternum.

Fire/no fire.  Meddling member.  Kids these days

are drastic/terrific.  Suddenly the clearing

so shiny and druggy. The end breaking off like a finger.







Day after day it’s a revolution, or it’s a wonder

that anything exists at all.  What can I do?


Dinosaur glass of giant, red wine.  Brand new

poems in my inbox from Brett.  I read them forthwith


to remember his high-horse, then speaketh romantical

the rest of the week.  But before that I turn on the newspaper.


Time goes by and clearly awry.  I’m not being funny;

I’m literally speechless.  I futz around or read my head off.


A jet flies over the house, and close.  I think at first it’s the return

of the living- dead TV, but it turns out a dumb-bunny licking


a head wound—which makes me feel truly sorry, both

because I called him a “dumb bunny” and also because


he’s obviously hurt.  I lay down on the couch

with an ice pack.  The birds in my throat for the moment


won’t sing.  I’ve been trying for years to get them to argue

in music. For awhile it works pretty well: more life to live


and wholly with feeling, then suddenly silence of nothing at all,

the conclusion, as ever, non-sequitur, small.  The point is this:


one of Brett’s poems ends, “I want to be sweet,” and man,

more than anything, I want to, too.  I get up off the couch


with a fluttering headache, take a couple Vicodin and go

to the mall.  When I get there I’m numbing and lumber


through the people.  I dig the dance beats, how

nobody knows me.  At the candy store, I buy a bag


of gummy worms and eat the whole thing.  And while

afterward, clearly, I’m still not sweet, I know someone


who is.  How’s that for sick?  How close to a sickness?


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