From Matt Hart's "Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless"

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

The Adolescent’s “Amoeba” I wake up typing letters
Alphabet, alphabet — though not to anyone in particular
To the circus To Fluoride Beelzebub or Beelzebubba
It’s impossible to say for sure It’s impossible to say anything
for sure, and this remains a fundamental dilemma
Intellectual, spiritual All men are mortal, including
all women and children and dogs I almost feel saddest
for the latter, but children run a close second snaring the rabbit
Today’s the resurrection Agnes is playing a recorder,
little song How to grow and grow along without turning
into a devil/red giant Or if one must, how also to be
a sequoia One thing’s certain: I won’t do it typing
The sun a sort of burning white hole in my pocket
Better to spend life spending one’s life, shouting
and rocketing, blasting the igloo Nature awaits us,
and Nature’s got fire I’ve been cool for too many
summers Temperature is rising Joe Strummer

* * *

To live we keep living Some minutes
The instructions You read and you weep
Or you act and then curtain I can’t stand
the suffering, so give ’em enough rope,
then occupy my life with anthemic meander,
interstate interchanges, images images…
There’s a feeling one gets doing logic
in the trenches A new tattoo of a soldier
on a horse Birds in his throat and a swarm
in his heart “John Clare” by Jon Anderson
The Keatses, John and Ezra Jack Sparkling
with atmosphere David Bowie’s “Sound and Vision”
When the snowball melts, the fight melts with it
We stomp through the puddles, getting wet
to our gill slits The sun beams down The earth
shoots up How weird to be a blade of grass,
a living breathing stripe of green I see a place of rest
in the not too distant present, but whether we can make it
will depend on whose embankment What
feathers What seating, an aisle or a window Cross-
word puzzle or Scrabble tray table I love
the word escarpment, but can’t much ever use it
The thing to do is dig a ditch Always accompany
the elderly dog One can hide out One can
fill up on joy One can stay the night
in the fire by the hearth What’s inside us
Lots of worms This is your reminder
of the life after this one

* * *

Help me, my construction site
No doubt somebody will hate it, the sentiment Some
drainage ditch, the sediment What can I say,
I’m a romantic and a runt I’ve always loved the noisome junk,
a warthog where I hide myself Lion alert in the happy,
morning grasses What to reveal and what to keep hidden
Once, on tour, some kid in Virginia hit me in the face
with the mic while I was singing I’d love to say
I kicked his ass, but he was drunk, so I kicked him in the head
It was sunny Now, somehow it’s fields of wheat
and lectures on things I can barely understand A house
in Cincinnati, a walk with my dog Little daughter full of grace
All the me I want to be, but better with plethora, both
impossible and endless Thank goodness, her mother
In hell or in heaven Two paths diverge, one out of tune
and the other surely dissonant Always take
what shakes you apart and out of yourself to find
yourself You can’t be out of control in control
All the wrong turns turning out the most definitive
I stop to read Milton, but it’s never any use
Water comes out of my face
it just happens

Matt Hart is the author of the poetry collections Who’s Who Vivid (Slope Editions, 2006), Wolf Face (H_NGM_N BKS 2010) and Light-Headed (BlazeVOX, 2011). A fourth collection, Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless, will be published by Typecast in 2012. He lives in Cincinnati, where he is a co-founder and editor of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking, & Light Industrial Safety and the Poet-in-Resistance at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.