from Radiant Action

All the beautiful places have consequences
All these beautiful worlds imperfect
and rebellious, “imperfect but ours”
Nucleic acid, nuclear reactors, suns forming
suns forming suns forming suns
The basements and attics with the sounds
of our voices, a singular noise,
in spite of all division     We are
blended to treetops, cinder block
streetscapes, cloudshift positions,
jays and little chipmunks too nervous
to chorus and too numerous not to,
too excited not to try     We sway
in the blue glow of power, tube amplifiers,
so much elemental turmoil, intensity, and love
We could be teenagers, or we could be forty or fifty
or no age at all     What ages mean,
all a social construction     The differences only
or mostly, a matter of perspective,
which is nothing at the human core, nothing
where the passion “flames up in multiple meanings”
bangs all the particles together forever
within and without, and a wildness
between us     Energy cannot be destroyed
Twenty-five years and change change change,
but the music still feels like home to me
I’m happy to say    I’m happy to admit it
Hell is a very cold and desolate planet, but oh so
adult, spruced up and decorous
The cocktails flow with rational business
Even now it’s with us    Always it is with us
just outside our dear field of vision, just outside
where the light begins to snow, encroaching
on our freedom, beating down imagination,
its clusterfuck a kind of efficient starvation
of the desire to delimit possibility     Your
beautiful places, your beautiful vision, are not
parts of yourself that you should ever relinquish
Paradise is process, intuition, and life
Press your whole body to the ceiling and break it
The limits of your language are the limits
of your world     Shake yourself out of yourself
like you mean it     Do you mean it
Hold out your hand I will take it my hand
We can go together to the light
We can stay together in delight
in awe and in terror, in shadow
and obscurity, we’ll stand the onslaught
out beyond good and evil, the radiant crush
of our bones and minds, the unpredictable
miraculous miraculous


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). 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.

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  1. Pingback: Table of Contents, Issue Three | Matter

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