The rebel Viking hairs that copper-threaded
my Semitic iron spade were first to fade
silver as fuck tomorrow ceded way to fretting
over pension and investments. Berserk
no more in middle age, nihilistic
abnegation whelmed by surging waves
of care for kin and colleagues' welfare,
I laid aside my pen and page, muted
rage and issued antiseptic grievance.
And grieve I did, my father, for you, whose
rogue and sober ways have forged me
even as your blood and the auburn hairs
of the grizzled beard you daily shaved bequeathed
to me the tempered mettle of my steel—
and debility in speaking what I feel.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Friday, May 27, 2016
My book Sum was published over a year ago. It got one review right away, in Quill & Quire, but not much noise about it since. Until today, thanks to reviewer Alison Goodwin in Arc Poetry Magazine. I don't usually comment on my reviews, but this one is uncommonly perceptive. I know how challenging it can be, how much work it takes, to say much of substance in a 500 word piece, having written a lot of them myself, and Goodwin, whose work I don't recall having seen before, really nails it here.
As a writer and editor, I've always felt that if you are conscientious about how you put your book together, it will lead a good reader to make connections and hear rhymes you didn't necessarily know were there to be heard. A lot of my critical work has involved ferreting out such correspondences (the title of my next prose collection will be Correspondences, in fact). There are a lot of intentional echoes and references in Sum and I arranged the poems deliberately to make the most of the book's motifs, to make the book itself a poem. Goodwin has picked out a couple of things I hadn't consciously considered before, which is a real treat.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 10:44 AM