BUILDING YOUR DEFENSE

Matt Hart

Here’s what you’ll need:

forests for trees and

mountains for dirt and

mountains for rocks and

mountains for goats,

since goats are the best

defense against the offense

of wild weeds and overgrown grass

Maybe you already have all of this

If you do, great, but I know for a fact

that you don’t     And also,

you don’t have a lawnmower     You had one

but now you don’t and why you don’t

is too boring to get into, but

that’s why you need the goats

You also need big round gaseous spheres

of bright green money floating in the sky

That way whenever you need to pay

for any of the expenses associated

with building your defense,

you will have the cash on hand

and won’t need to put it

on a credit card      Credit cards

are evil       They make you lazy

and defenseless     They make you think,

“Why do all this work grabbing

at the money planets in the sky

when I can just buy everything on credit

at a low introductory rate and worry about it

later”     Thus, credit cards make you weak

and eventually they make you weep

Believe it      Also, for your defense

you will need a Deathstar like the one

Luke Skywalker so recklessly destroyed

in Star Wars      The force was with him,

but also he got really lucky     A lot

of the other X-wing fighter pilots were not

so lucky     Lucky for you, however,

there are no more X-wing fighter pilots

and no more Jedis, so your Deathstar

will keep you safe and warm

and walled off from pretty much everybody

And yeah, a Deathstar is a lot of fire power for one person

But thanks to the 2nd Amendment

you have the right to build a Deathstar

and to use it, if you must, to stand your ground

against whatever you’re afraid of,

which, let’s face it, is pretty much everything

It’s amazing you’re still with us

given the myriad threats you face

on a daily basis     For example,

when you’re out with friends at Hooters

eating jalapeno poppers—or even herding

your goats beneath your glowing clouds of money—

you can pretty much expect you’ll be attacked

or possessed or overshadowed

by somebody      But once you have a Deathstar

you’ll never need to worry      Bad guys

are deterred by Deathstars

and also other visible and invisible threats

to their coherence     With your defense

up and running, they’ll stick to their guns—

and leave you to your Wonder-

white truck nuts in peace     So get to work now

defending your freedom     You’ll need the forests

and the goats, etc     But you’ll really need that Deathstar

Like magic, your fair share can be the whole pie

Your conspiracy theories depend on it

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Matt Hart is the author of nine books of poems, including most recently Everything Breaking/for Good and The Obliterations. Additionally, his poems, reviews, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous print and online journals, including Big Bell, Columbia Poetry Review, Harvard Review, jubilat, Lungfull!, Mississippi Review, POETRY, and Waxwing, among others. His awards include a Pushcart Prize, a grant from The Shifting Foundation, and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. He was a co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety from 1993-2019. Currently, he lives in Cincinnati where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band NEVERNEW.