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Matt Hart

is the name of a band

in case you’re wondering

why that’s the title of this poem

I’ve been watching

their guitar player this morning

go through all his gear

for Premier Guitar’s Rig Rundown series

I’ve never heard the band,

but the guitar player seems nice

and I’m pretty run down,

though not in series

or parallel either

and if you get that reference,

or, better yet, know the difference

you’re already way ahead of me

My allergies are a mess

from all the Juniper trees

and I still can’t figure out

why anybody likes Germanium

transistors more than Silicon,

or why anyone would

at this late date

still be snobby

about the superiority of tube amps,

when the tech has come such a long way

in the solid state arena

For one great example

of a solid state amp that sounds as good

as any tube amp I’ve ever played

(which is many by the way)

see the ZT Custom Shop Lee Ranaldo Club

But this isn’t only an advertisement

for ZT Amplification, “the smallest little loud amps

in the world,” it’s also another call for a response

I mean, does anyone reading this,

or hearing me read it,

know what the fuck I’m talking about

Nerdsville is me

Geekdom is the way

I’m just biding my time

before a colonoscopy today,

which dates me I know

like a weird jug of milk

a little bit expired, but only slightly sour

Blinky is what they used to call that

Blear in the milk in the whites of your eyes

which makes me think of wide white skies

or somebody high in the stars’ slurry light

Anyway, I just checked out Whores’ music

cause I was stuck after that last line

and I have to say they sound pretty crushing

by which I do not mean attractive in a delicate way

that causes brief but intense infatuation

I mean it in the other three hundred ways

that “pretty crushing” can be meant

That’s what poetry is

at its best, and music

at its best

is poetry


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.

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