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FURTHER READING
Poems by Matt Hart
Electron Face
In This Light
Today A Rainstorm Caught Me
Related Poems
American Names
by Stephen Vincent Benét
Her Kind
by Anne Sexton
To be the thing
by Dorothea Lasky
Call Us
by Sally Van Doren
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Her Name was Name

 
by Matt Hart

I had a girl, I named her soap.
I had a soap, I named her cat.
One day I played the accordion on paper,
and it sounded like a birth certificate
drifting into the sun, a disintegration station
in a vast bewildered wilderness—
which sounds like a slide whistle at first
but later like the back porch flytrap I named
jungle. I have never before mentioned
these names in the airway, and neither has the girl
I named name ever faltered—
though the question of remains
in the hallway remains: Does one's imagination
also disintegrate, or does it flutter forever
like a boa constrictor, circling the world
or a warthog? The warthog I named babe;
the boa constrictor I called pasture.
The last time I found myself ensnared
in the pastoral, I imagined a rope
and escaped by climbing up it.
Then I named it laminate, but I called it
overwhelming. Me and overwhelming
covered in skulls. One superhero
to another to another. I boiled a lobster,
I named it travel. I had an agent,
and I named her mob.
Then I took out the garbage
and went running with my dog
ostensibly to prove my existence,
if not also my purchase. I made a purchase,
I named it purpose. There is nothing so bright
as a toddler on fire. We don't need no water...
I named the water deathstar.





Audio Clip
September 2, 2010
The Arsenal Building, Central Park
New York, NY
From the Academy Audio Archive



From WOLF FACE, published by H_NGM_N Books. Copyright © 2012 by Matt Hart. Reprinted with permission of the author.
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