SATURDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: MATT HART

Photo 44

DAILY CHORES
By Matt Hart

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


(Today’s poem originally appeared in Diode and appears here today with permission from the poet.)

Matt Hart is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012) and Debacle Debacle (H_NGM_N Books, 2013). His awards include a Pushcart Prize, a 2013 individual artist grant from The Shifting Foundation, and fellowships from both the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. 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.

Editor’s Note: Dean Young of The American Reader says of Matt Hart that he is “a poet of enormous vroom. Vast with Whitman’s cosmic warmth but reckless with his own outbursts of punk intensity.” This is a poetry alive with an energy and life force all its own. Today’s poem reads like the free association of an ADHD-riddled mind espousing the soft touch of the lyric. The subject under consideration constantly shifts, illuminated by flashes of electricity (“You are bigger than lightning”), moments of classic poetic beauty (“and maybe fall into the waiting / arms of the meadow”), and thoughtful insight into both the mind that houses this world and the world that houses this mind (“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”). This is a poem that warrants reading and re-reading; new discoveries unfold, both stunning and surprising, with each pass.

Want to read more by and about Matt Hart?
Buy Debacle Debacle from H_NGM_N Books
Buy Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless from Typecast Publishing
A video of Matt Hart reading a poem from Sermons and Lectures
New poems at The American Reader

About Sivan Butler-Rotholz

Sivan is the Contributing Editor of the Saturday Poetry Series on As It Ought To Be and holds an MFA from Brooklyn College. She is a professor, writer, editor, comic artist, and attorney emerita. She is also the founder of Reviving Herstory. Sivan welcomes feedback, poetry submissions, and solicitations of her writing via email at sivan.sf [at] gmail [dot] com.
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3 Responses to SATURDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: MATT HART

  1. Michou says:

    nice one. Seemingly, someone feels as trapped as I do.

  2. Maya Elashi says:

    Oh the chores~~~Endless, exercises in the inevitable! Nicely put! Thanks.

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