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Daily Chores

The important things
don’t just happen by accident
They don’t get said
if no one’s willing
to go out on a limb
and maybe fall into the waiting
arms of the meadow, the meadow so dark
we can’t see it, or so light-bright
I can’t see you drumming
right next to me yesterday—
perfectly clattery cacophony—
the latter a word that makes a shape
in one’s mouth     Say it,
Cacophony     Your body changes
Your mind moves over the water
And that’s really all there is
You are bigger than lightning
And the waves don’t dry up
for fear of crashing against me
If this all seems a little abstract
it’s because I’m becoming less
fond of the concrete particulars,
the polyp in my throat
won’t burst or go away
like a dandelion    I think
I should do more screaming
about the contented little houses
of this neighborhood
and the tensions well-hidden
inside them, a million secret swells
of violence and affection,
the motion of the jungle
right here in Cincinnati
And last night’s dishes
still stacked in the sink,
the laundry too dumb
to be surprising

Raider Of Cities

. . . and up comes a wall from the bottom
of my stomach, covered in vines,
poured over with graffiti     O cement mixer
Dylan Thomas eating porridge

with Samuel Taylor Coleridge     I shouldn’t
worry about it, but I have to clamber
over it, have to find a way around it, have to
dig a hole under it     Ask the princess

to dance     Throw myself upon her
mercy     So many tongues
and skirts going round     The vocals
sort of screamy, golden fishes

in my pockets     My bottomless pockets
and cops overflowing when they see me,
if they see me    I’ve been to sea
for an awfully long time, writing

little notes on the waves, My heart
is breaking     So many sorrows
and tomorrow is another     My forces
well-hidden and waiting for the signal,

but I don’t use the signal     Everyone fails
to notice when I trace her face in pencil,
my only souvenir when the city sends me
packing     So I raid another city

A city in Texas     Maybe I’ll catch them
with their pants in the trees, the trees
they make light of in Texas  


Matt Hart is the author of four books of poems, most recently Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing 2012).  A fifth collection, Debacle Debacle, is forthcoming from H_NGM_N BKS in 2013. A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati, where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band TRAVEL.