Scott Hartwich


The Argument For Cloture

For the uninitiated [I give you dull] [and well and good]
    what might we be missing?
    He is an enunciator.
    And this is brine-wet, an interruption to the level of discourse
we are accustomed to.
                                                            A standard of clarity rigorous
                                                            A standard of clearly rigorous
to keep well and good to yourself
degrees of silence / have will
        to the refractor eye and suddenly the trees have a secret hand-code?
[Drawn to the center]
                                     the utterance— the veins on a leaf stand out,
                                     the veins in your hand do not,
to the lightposts!
                               Their varying degrees bent to our need
                                                                        bend the tissue of light
the center
he has focus
drawing from the well, a ladle of brine coerced from
                                                                       coerced to do this
                                                                       the lectern built from salt
He has the stage the spot on the stage where the light coalesces
his hands intentional
                                      enunciating gestures which clarity supersedes
as their own dull prospect, every slash through the air leaving
a trace of color
                            [                             ] and then we are moths


Cassidy’s Lament

Your kind face. In the grove the spacing has changed and the nutshell has grown past its usefulness
                 [the gunners won’t stand for it.]

Knee-bent among the shades available / contrite. No one should apologize for living. Shade is something you stand in

but also a remnant and something you pull down. We are all kinds and we live and live but there are many groves now
                                              the nut harvest predictably bountiful

the counting men fast at it their hands sorting / they have no idea

[but the knuckles know

the creases on their brows full aware]

This canopy knows as well, lush crowns touching [the nut trees let us be clear], shells whistling their own workaday song
                                                         [look up look up.]



Lowdown and lanterned they watched us, time spent well-spent. I slabbed and studied, puzzling out the point at which
                this steepling worried me.

Never would come if asked,
                                        the clock with its ministrations never sheepish.

Hands in pockets people watched to see the new China knowing the old one so well you could sharpen your brow with his posturing

all this talk of antioxidants.
                                                  Must you save again? There were toys we beat up against swearing off

Olde London, your light posts weren’t meant to incandesce [what if you were just a drogue?]
                                                           but a stroll is just a walk no matter
                  we crave for you and your dotted-up way
                                                                        and your [where is this now? or for that matter?] Stay there until you have spun gold back into humble and cream has clotted cream
          even as simple as that [calm yourself] but in language even the spine becomes disassociated



Scott Hartwich lives in Bellingham, Washington, where he roasts coffee to make ends meet. His work has appeared in such journals as Colorado Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, and Diagram. He is the former co-editor of the short-lived but fabulous journal Greatcoat and appreciates a good prequel, as long as the non sequitur isn't too obliging.


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MadHat, Issue 15, Winter 2013-2014