sporklet 15
Matt Hart
The Romantics As Charged

Teach me half the gladness

That thy brain must know

Such harmonious madness

From my lips would flow,

The world should listen then—as I am

listening now.—Percy Bysshe Shelley


What I like about you
Is you’re the same every day
Writing past the stars
To one clear thing
Crescendo-ing and decrescendo-ing
A long black car, a Cadillac of owls,
Which itself is stuffed with images of owls,
Who, all by themselves.
Without any prompting from me,
Are naming the names
Of all the states and their capitals,
Flying the highways
And sometimes falling fine
Down flights of stairs
Flights of beers
I guess I’ve returned
To a fathoming line
A sounding in the Heavens
Of the Juniper pollen
The alder and the elm
On a gray spring day
In the middle of my age
And the air is sharp
As a lightning-split house
A broken open silver vein
Something a little like crystal in my lungs
A chandelier is hard to breathe
You know the feeling
Of waking up to a letter
Of falling and rolling and leaping forever
Of wanting and wanting
The letter to be
I was telling someone else
The other night in a dream
In a language of bewitchment
The train whistle under my pillow
Caused a scene
A serious ruckus
Inside of me
And all of us
A correspondence meandering
In the familiarity of work
Hoping something sticks
When I find you
At the drive-in
Mary Hartman Mary Hartman
How many angels will even get the reference
Inking this pristine page
Into a truckstop
A question mark proudly affixed to its wolf
One says, Are you out there?
And another, Can you hear me?
I know that’s two questions
And the answers are forthcoming
While the nuclear owls
Spill out of the backseat
Of the heavy washer-dryer
Or the red typewriter,
Which is actually black
Which is finally on fire
And I’m a long way now
From anywhere called home
But you’re the same every day
In light and shadow both
And that’s why I like you

You really know how to dance


“In the air, in the house, in the night, 

bear with me.”—Ted Berrigan


Aim your snarl elsewhere, boss
I live in a brewery
Of weeks more than days
My big city head is a city ahead
And bleeding its disturbance bed
This writing and re-writing
Crescendo-ing and decrescendo-ing
Naming the names
Like Mary Anne and Mike’s old owl
Stuffed with images of owls
And a firepit that jackets me
In a smoke haze for days
Or filled with rainwater
Beside the weird chickens
Technicolor ancient things
Stars that go berserk by the billions
All those lights, just bombs, have I mentioned
The past present future
Nuclear kittens
Butterfly criers
Tinfoil arrangements
And the dog with his orange
And silver rope toy all tuckered
Frayed and afraid
Where afraid is feeling normal
What does that say
Punk as fuck in the woods
And today is Easter Monday
Which isn’t even really a thing
Except for the poet

Who made it that way

Matt Hart is the author of nine books of poems, including most recently Everything Breaking/for Good (YesYes Books, 2019) and The Obliterations (Pickpocket Books, 2019). 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 NEVERNEW: www.nevernew.net.