WHERE SCREAMS COME FROM

Matt Hart

 “Dear Matt Hart, O you have the most beautiful 

scream of all. Dear Matt Hart, from where do our 

screams come from?”

—Jay Ponteri



Inside the dwarf star

I am sitting

At my kitchen table nodding

To the music

Coming out of the lo-fi

And knowing my own voice

So dirtbag

With azaleas, geraniums,

Unicorns, Uraniums

(“What are Uraniums?”

See the Seven Dwarves

See the night sky…)

But my voice

Is laying or lying

In wait of the next time

My eyes begin to roll

With what’s inside

My heart tearing up

(or tearing up)

And whirling down

A mountain of milk

And honey roasted pumpkin seeds

And feeling suddenly

The pang of memory

My parents in their youth

Going wild about money

The gods eating each other

To maintain their power

Over fire over water

Over everything

That moves

Or stops in its tracks

In the unfathomable distortion

The roaring correspondence

The call and response

The rush

Crescendo-ing and descrescendo-ing

O trickstery owls

O cataclysmic wolves

It’s not as bad as it sounds

It’s better or it’s worse

Digging deep to find you

Digging deep into the earth

But only finding someone’s old tooth

A busted PA speaker

The imminent crush

Tomorrow I’m a lamb

Or a horsehair brush

But today the rain

Pours out of my mouth

I am a fountain

Of ridiculous sparks

Open your light, dear friends,

To my arms


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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.