MATT HART


NEGATIVE CAPABILITY

Most days are all the days
we have, which isn’t deep
as a lake, it’s stupid
as a newspaper      I wear

in my hair a lot of lightning
and girl scouts     You go
to work with a face

on your dashboard     Tonight,
this afternoon, this morning,
the feathers leaking out
from underneath

the coffee maker make me think
that sometimes gravity
cannot be defied

and anyway the rollercoaster
is tired, so it would be
an excellent time
to stand with the telephone poles

for a ridiculously long time
and maybe every once in a while
we could touch

each other’s motorbikes
and consider some general
instructions     You need to do
whatever it is you need to do

And I need to not be
such a series of traffic violations
but it’s a lot colder today,

so my metal’s overwhelming
I can’t be expected to read a story
and bring up a couple of beers
from the basement

at exactly the same time     Nobody
can be in two cities at once
Standing in my yard I see

a red-yellow jet emerge
from the leaves of a red-yellow
tree without any irritable reaching
after fact or reason
 
 
 
 
FEELINGS BOTH HOME AND AWAY

Today after mulching the leaves
and running some miles
with a tired-looking smile
on my face
I suddenly, and briefly, had
the urge to explain myself
in terms of my contribution
to the greater good,
which of course I can’t do,
so instead I told you
how last night at the play
about the famous painter
my favorite part was
the complete dark
of the lights going down
before the play ever started
Suddenly consumed
with hundreds of others
and you and Eric and Alice
right next to me, an ending
beginning and everybody
breathing musically,
indistinctly     Maybe
that’s what it’s like
disappearing     Then the lights
came up and it ruined the feeling
I woke up early this morning
started reading a novel
set in Spain, but not
in any way about it
I need to tell Liz,
because I know
she’ll want to read it
I feel it’s time
to open up the giant
Cesar Vallejo
Collected Poems
and commiserate
and reflect
on how fraudulent
words always are,
especially in translation
Poems aren’t really about anything
They’re always and only—
or mainly—a demonstration
of a particular way
of paying attention, as jumpy,
disheveled, and drunk as it may be
The window of opportunity
is the first couple drinks
After that sex becomes
a terrible distraction,
and death becomes
the only thing I think
of your reaction     Now the dark
patches and the shadows of trees
Television football and no one home
to stop us     Alabama vs. LSU
Crimson vs. gold
on a hundred yards of green
Roll tide roll
Fighting Tigers
 
 
 
 



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