Three Poems
Matt Hart


from RADIANT COMPANION


Lullaby Of Ending Things
 
And stopped      lucking out.
No       the Starbuck’s       doesn’t help
We all need assistance with our human
Volkswagon       The mask I often vomit
Too many crows and an off-and-on
kilter horizon, which is pink and black
and gorgeous with horizontal people—
gods, angels, devils—but mostly sleeping-forever
babies in the ocean or the dirt       All hubris
All metal       Iron Maiden       Judas Priest
We the people have burned down the house
But we live in the house, so we die in the house
The house is the body       The body’s full of rocks
Howling corncakes       Robert Frost       Volcanic
bleeding owlets       Cicada socks       And the whirring
white sounds       Peaches and storm doors whizzing
through the night       What this points to is unsettlement,
an anxiety that whatever is is already lost       We need
to eat breakfast       We need to eat lunch       And we can,
lucky for us       Stopped lucking out in the grand sense, because—
just because—we stopped taking the broken among us in our arms
and rocking them quietly       and singing them softly

 

The Panther
 
No good poetries to lull me goodbye
Life eats earth meat       I bake an apple pie—
or cherry, peach, tri-berry—then die in my mind
to try my hand at elegance       How to make these better
notes       Tree fluff stuffed into bark-sequined dress
Don’t mope your weird heartbeat       Don’t mope
your weird head       I draw a duck-rabbit for Agnes
in lieu of a “bunny,” which I can’t draw, but
which she wants       Regardless       Here’s a two-fer,
I tell her       Then       Run 5.2 miles with joy in the sun,
read 52 pages in some book deeply puzzled       Or,
I listen to The Slits, then “Don’t Cry” by Guns-n-Roses
No, I’m not embarrassed       I am scraped a few moments
by a thorn bush       Monopoly on Monday       Tuesday
a prescription       Wednesday thinks a single thing
But Rilke’s panther in circles obliterates all of us—
black hole in a cage that if we’re lucky we can lean on
I take a nap to reconsider it, and when I wake up
something’s actually happened for once       Pentagram,
goat, and a sword on my t-shirt       Coffin of raw cotton
The fridge almost magically re-stocked with beer
These things mean more than saying them says,
and I’d celebrate as such, but it’s more fun
without me—you, them, us—the bluebirds and deer
Whose bruising belly’s in the grass where we graze it
Who’s with me, we’re so lucky       How we stand us

 

Between Scylla And Charybdis
 
I read Aquinas, doubting everything       Or,
I read Walt Whitman on immortality, feeling
puffy, and then walk myself over to an oyster,
a beautiful horse gently licking my palm
How I love the way it all makes me me—
drinking black coffee, imagining eggs, always
forking over whatever I know, including my tongue
American rapture, atomic pajamas

I wanna live forever frugally in bright lights
with long suffering       My family miles away
from me, laughing at the beach, both
with it and at it       Quadrupel ale
with a Lucifer face       And a fire inside it
erupts and consumes the high beams
of this body—mine and yours, which is the same

body, significantly, the more imperfect the union
the more likely words coalesce into a mantra
Mighty Mighty Mighty Mighty Mighty Mighty Mighty
Moe       means nothing not followed by an accent
speaking broadly in tongues
My cross still a salt lick to bear, so
my loss       I lay around in bed
not ashamed and not fluffed and

not decoratively ruffled       Actually
it’s not even my bed       My heart is not
in it       If you want to know the truth,
we’re two weeks on an island, between
a rock and a hard place       The best part’s
getting drunk on the aforementioned oysters,
knowing that the sea is everywhere
around us, living and dying, mostly running

in place       Shotgun and sugar
and shortbread and shitty       T-shirt
and whisper, clamshack and certainty
Angel voluptuous, unsilent quahog
Awash in the wash in the wash
in the