This Handwriting : Magazine : A Public Space

This Handwriting

Poetry Matthew Zapruder

I do not acknowledge it, though it is mine.
All day I sat trying to remember the face of my friend.
Not that time we argued whether the apocryphal
gospel scholars had postulated but no one
least of all either of us had read proved early Christians
were actually feminist Jews. Nor when I saw him
sleeping, his face twisted as if it were being
wrung out from inside his skull like a rag
soaked in acetylene soon to be discarded. Very
small horses attached to invisible reins attached
to facts is how I would describe my thoughts,
but what of my memories? And who sits calmly
on a great black indeterminate stallion beside
the pasture, regarding them with his watchful eyes?
Of what is he thinking? Of the presence.
All day I felt it waiting outside the city. Silence
like an auditorium after a modern composition
has finished destroying our foolish cherished
ideas of music. A decade has passed since
I lived in Massachusetts like a terrible installation
leaking smoky versions of myself and weak
soluble ideas like people care only because they
do not even know they feel they must. Now
I have a few private long nights I reluctantly share
these long nights thinking of you my friends wherever
you are busy dying, and the peaceful white island
with just a few necessary buildings Yannis Ritsos
now lives on. In 1997 he rescued me in translation
from what I thought but was not life. I was dangerously
becoming a complicated one. Now I have time,
I am trying to hide my wing. Martha, your honey
colored vermiculite dress haunts me still, ever
since I saw it crash to the floor I have been a golden
hinge no one not even you can open.

No. 08

No. 08


Matthew Zapruder’s most recent books include Why Poetry (Ecco) and Father’s Day (Copper Canyon). He is an editor at large for Wave Books.


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