Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Her Name Was Name

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.

Credit


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

Author


Matt Hart

Matt Hart is the author of Debacle Debacle (H_NGM_N Books, 2013), Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012), and Light-Headed (BlazeVOX, 2011), among others. He teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and lives in Cincinnati.

Date Published: 2012-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/her-name-was-name