Thursday, March 1, 2007

Poem: Aglow by Matthew Zapruder

Hello everyone, hello you. Here we are under this sky.
Where were you Tuesday? I was at the El Rancho Motel in Gallup.
Someone in one of the nameless rooms was dying, slowly
the ambulance came, just another step towards the end. An older
couple asked me to capture them with a camera, gladly I rose
about three inches and did and then back to my chair. I thought of
Paul Celan, one of those poets everything happened to strangely
as it happens to everyone. In German he wrote he rose
one pain inch above the floor, I don’t understand
but I understand. Did writing in German make him a little
part of whoever set in motion the chain of people talking
who pushed his parents under the blue grasses of the Ukraine?
No. My name is Ukrainian and Ukranians killed everyone but six
people with my name. Do you understand me now? It
hurts to be part of the chain and feel rusty and also a tiny squeak
now part of what makes everything go. People talk a lot, the
more they do the less I remember in one of my rooms someone
is always dying. It doesn’t spoil my time is what spoils my time. No
one can know what they’ve missed, least of all my father who
was building a beautiful boat from a catalog and might still be. Sometimes
I feel him pushing a little bit on my lower back with a palm
made of ghost orchids and literal wind. Today I’m holding onto
holding onto what Neko Case called that teenage feeling. She means
one thing, I mean another, I mean to say that just like when I was thirteen
it has been a hidden pleasure but mostly an awful pain talking to you
with a voice that pretends to be shy and actually is, always in search of
the question that might make you ask me one in return.

Posted with permission of the author

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