The Fall of Everybody | Painter of Light


poems by Matt Hart


The Fall of Everybody

It’s hard to hear, It’s hard
to hear, when the duct work keeps speaking
its incredible void     The eyelashes
keep batting     The sleepers
keep sleeping, and none of us
really knows how we feel about the sky,
It shines its dumb amazement
on our beds, so we hunker
and complain about the meat
we mostly are     is our trajectory:
alone in each body, snuggled up
against the wall     It’s not really
like that     We are all
in this sloppified mess of brains
and blood vessels together
across the sea and right here
in this uncommon pasture grazing     Hello,
dear new friends, let me set
your face on fire with my face on my fire
with my wishes that your wishes
don’t leave anybody out, that your presence
in this potentially electrifying current
few minutes or the rest of your life
blows itself apart in the service
of coming together differently
in paint and guts, on paper
your whole voice     the meaning
of meaning and the worms in your heart
how to scream scream scream
to make the old ladies ghosts
the old men to disintegrate
with their tongues torn out
to walk the stupid streets
with your attitude’s angles
wondering about the angels,
the possibilities spinning on the head
of some professor     Even the rats can see you
hiding in the weeds     Don’t hide in the weeds
Don’t come undone at the seams
unless of course you’re in love
and he undoes you or she undoes you
At which point immediately
prepare to be annihilated, both in love
and after, and rally round the people
waiting drunkenly to catch you,
to show you in all honesty
the next most be-sparkled,
unmitigated thing     Your vision
will never falter if you can only learn
to be in uncertainties Mysteries and doubts
like John Keats, who died at 26
having changed the world forever,
having felt the joys and heartbreak
of this life as much as anyone,
and no animosity, no viciousness ever
The possibilities roaring into our lives
without a horse, without spokes
when we open our eyes
to get down to business, mouth-to-mouth
with patience and belief and faith
in something better, keener, newer,
and beyond we go aware-r
Every single atom, every last skyscraper
All the tripped-out funky travelers
All the weirdoes in the know
The future’s always ours
Alive-ness in a deadness,
A beginning in an end-ness
The dance is sure,
wrote William Carlos Williams
mostly naked     Make your bodies
rockets     Surprise yourself
and everything
with racket



Painter of Light

Lately I’m faking more than usual.
Often in the night when I fall
behind a dumpster. My hair is long, but not
usually impossible. It’s weird to have been once
so incredibly with clouds. You might know me
around the fire telling stories. When I collapse
roasting meat, put a fork in a potato.
I used to paint the apple trees, but got tired
of all the horses and farmhands laying on me,
tired of the white sneaking into the wound,
making everything soft with its pinkish
corrections. The goal is to become less,
not more, human being. Someday
when I blast into a subway station…
You black out, and that’s it. The moment’s
forgotten already before it happens. Of course,
you never really existed in the first place.
Every decision you ever made against
your nature. Every fucking vote
you ever cast against your interests.
When I fall behind a butcher’s block or down
the basement stairs. My only wishes
trembling things. Don’t imagine them
lightly. The birds or the leaves
or the teeth between my teeth. You are
there. Once I built a stadium
and lit it to perfection. I filled it full
of gravity, and watched the revolutions,
watched as the worms struggled
in through all the pockets and out
through the amazement of everyone
in attendance, breaking up the earth,
that it continues forever. I am
but a tear in the mouth of those departed.
My halogen headlamp, so I never think to sleep.
I’m afraid of the dark where I find you
counting blessings, but delighted to see
the gaping hole on your horizon. I will eat
for both of us. The miracle of no one’s there.
And no one with an ear for when I crash
down the mountain and take your stupid head
through a window to a meadow. Grass staining
red delicious apple while you wait.



Matt Hart