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Matt Hart


—for Annah Hood

To be serious, I’d have to be serious,
and you’d have to believe
in the fullness of a great dream
which is a parody of the color blue
so plays a guitar and swears
off further adventures
in road movies that aren’t road movies
and books that go nowhere…arpeggios
rayguns or stuffed beneath a tree…
Sometimes my face on fire flaps open
like a garage door, then, inevitably, it rains
and things continue lit with inner power…
No, seriousness is what makes the daisy
drastic, and who ever heard of a drastic
flower? I’d rather blow
my unmade mind apart
than rush to take in something dark.
And if you walk this over to a mirror,
you’ll see yourself forever. It’s clear
to anyone paying attention
this is serious.




After the flood, I walked up to a cloud,
then down some stairs into a fire. There
I came face to face with the following:
a mammoth (wooly), a snapper (red),
and a naval commander in the field.
“All words I like,” I volunteered, so found myself
consumed by a uniform, its meaning indeterminate,
its policies unsettled. “If only I had been consumed
by a unicorn instead,” I thought—though
judging from the quotation marks
I may have said it out loud… Anyway,
there I was holding a fish
and being asked by the fire (the very one
I walked into) how to cook it.
“You put your right foot in…” I began.
Then a blizzard blew up—a real violation of decorum
trapped inside an even realer violation of decorum.
“What do you have to say for yourself?”
demanded the commander. I hiccupped trying
to giggle, but it came out a sloth, sleeping in a tree
with no opinion whatsoever. That’s when I thought
of the word wallpaper—another word I like.
I said it out loud, “wallpaper” and the fire liked it too,
though the sloth, as usual, was indifferent.
The poor red snapper was gasping for air.
“Can somebody get this snapper some water!”
I snapped. “On the double,” said the commander
in a rather predictable turn of events.
By this time the fire was licking the fish
and the mammoth was totally wallpaper.
When I looked up from my typewriter
the levee was breaking, and I walked
into a legendary sympathy.

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