February 3, 2016KR OnlinePoetry

Catching Light

“I love poetry because it makes me love / and presents me life”
     —Gregory Corso

It’s out of my hands, or
             it’s all in my hands
                          Grace, Faith, Beauty
                          O hell
                                       I’m catching light,
city elm and fir, a loose tinfoil
gum wrapper   This is what there is
Not all there is   All there is is so much
more improbable than all the hell
I’ll ever catch   The devil
charming everywhere, and
“Dumb green hands,” my friend
always writes   Such exclamatory ease
like sitting on this porch, watching
the little rectangle of tinfoil blow past a robin
and the robin never noticing
                                       only jabbing
                                                    at the earth
I have a problem, which is not believing
people ever really change all that much
Too much muck
                          to be enough like weather
                          shifting, adjusting, being carried
by the breezes
                          Third cup of coffee
                                       Silver skull on my key ring
reminding me
                          of Hamlet, his thinking
too much, then poof, then dust   Philosophy
only matters insofar as it’s a poem, free
from the tethers of logic and reason, which are merely
ways of ordering experience, not experience giving
orders—though it does, and its orders will end us—
end me—but today I am not a pessimist
I know what “five red apples” means
                                                    in context
I know “noise annoys” yes “dumb green hands”
“little pink birdhouse nailed to a maple”   I know
“thorns of life,” “no birds sing,” and “This
living hand now warm and capable”
catching the light of the people I love
The devil remains, but so also does the owl,
so also does the frost on its way to this song
Vast distances between us, Scylla and Charybdis,
                                       I am the demon
                                                    the demon
                                                                 the demon,
not evil, just mischievous, in search
             of the miraculous, some new oracle
                                                    to tell me not to hurt
                          so I can tell you not to hurt
             I want our lives to be better, not worse

Matt Hart’s most recent books are Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless and Debacle Debacle. A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking, & Light Industrial Safety, he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band TRAVEL.